Retrospective: February-April 2019 Outlook

The atmospheric circulation around New Zealand was forecast to be characterised by slightly higher than normal pressure to the southwest and southeast of New Zealand and lower pressure than normal to the northeast of the country. Weak easterly-quarter air flows were favoured. Actual pressures were higher than normal over and to the east of the country with lower than normal pressures south of Tasmania. This pressure set up resulted in slightly more northerly and north-easterly winds than normal.

Predicted air temperature: February – April 2019 temperatures were forecast to be above average for all regions of New Zealand.

Outcome: Actual temperatures were above average for virtually the whole country. Pockets of near average temperatures were observed in Northland and parts of Marlborough.

Predicted rainfall: February – April 2019 rainfall was about equally likely to be normal or above normal in the north of the North Island and west of the South Island. Near normal rainfall was most likely for all remaining regions of New Zealand.

Outcome: Actual rainfall was below normal for large parts of the North Island. The exceptions were about Gisborne, Wellington and Taranaki where near normal rainfall was observed. In the South Island rainfall was below normal for the north of the South Island, Southland, eastern Otago and southern Canterbury. Above normal rainfall was observed on the West Coast.