Climate

Latest news

Expect to hear a lot more about climate change in the news in the weeks ahead – and a lot about NIWA’s work underpinning the science that is signalling a warmer world right now and its effects in the future.
NIWA meteorologists are keeping an eye on an unusual atmospheric phenomenon that is amassing in the polar stratosphere.
We’re now halfway through 2019 and NIWA climate data from the first six months tell a dramatic story of weather and climate extremes.
New Zealanders are fast becoming aware that our changing climate matters a great deal. NIWA Chief Executive John Morgan explains.

Our work

NIWA is leading a New Zealand partnership to map the South and West Pacific Ocean's seabed as part of a worldwide initiative to map the entire globe’s seafloor.
Does climate change affect the position of the Subtropical Front around New Zealand? This has important consequences for New Zealand's climate and biological productivity.

Latest videos

Annual Climate Summary for 2018

New Zealand’s equal-2nd warmest year on record. Annual temperatures were above average across the majority of New Zealand, including much of the North Island as well as the western and southern South Island. See complete 2018 Annual Climate Summary details.

Weather Tips - What is El Niño?

El Niño. We hear it being brought up in the news quite a bit, but what does it actually mean? No, it's not a type of yoghurt!

SOUTHERN - LONG  - v2
NIWA climate scientists are calling for volunteers to unearth weather secrets from the past – including those recorded by members of Captain Robert Scott’s doomed trip to the South Pole in 1912.
NIWA Seasonal Climate Outlook: May-July 2018

NIWA Principal Scientist Chris Brandolino gives a broad overview of the coming season across Aotearoa.

Hot in the south and dry countrywide to end spring
More than 50 “weather detectives” from 20 countries will be in Auckland next week to share their experiences saving snippets of meteorological history that will ultimately help scientists better understand the processes of climate variability and change.
A weekly update describing soil moisture across the country to help assess whether severely to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Regions experiencing these soil moisture deficits are deemed “hotspots”. Persistent hotspot regions have the potential to develop into drought.
Does climate change affect the position of the Subtropical Front around New Zealand? This has important consequences for New Zealand's climate and biological productivity.
A very dry and warm month for the South Island interior
The tropical Pacific is still officially in a ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) neutral state, but some indicators have leaned more towards La Niña conditions during the course of October 2017.
A large area of high pressure will take up residence east of New Zealand for the next few days, bringing more unusual springtime warmth to parts of the South Island from tomorrow through to late next week, says NIWA forecaster Seth Carrier.
An immense dome of high pressure stretched across the Tasman Sea onto the South Island yesterday, bringing the highest temperatures across New Zealand since April.
A wet month for many and warm on the eastern coasts.
Many atmospheric and oceanic indicators in the tropical Pacific are on the La Niña side of neutral, although not yet strong enough to reach La Niña thresholds.

Outlook: August - October 2017

August – October 2017 temperatures are forecast to be above average for all regions of New Zealand, with high confidence (55-70% chance for above average temperatures). Nevertheless, frosts and cold snaps will occur during the remainder of winter and in early spring. Coastal water temperatures around New Zealand are forecast to remain above average over the next three-month period.

Global setting: July 2017

ENSO (El Niño – Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) continued in the tropical Pacific during July 2017, but this month mixed signals were again present. In particular, some atmospheric patterns have been recently leaning more towards weak La Niña conditions.
ENSO (El Niño – Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) continued in the tropical Pacific during July 2017, but this month mixed signals were again present. In particular some atmospheric patterns have been recently leaning more towards weak La Niña conditions.
The latest atmospheric river over New Zealand delivered one town’s wettest day on record, and broke several other long-held rainfall statistics, according to NIWA data.
Today’s low came spinning off the coast of Hawke’s Bay funneling strong winds through the Cook Strait and hitting Wellington region with strong winds before moving on to Taranaki and Auckland this afternoon.

Global setting: June 2017

The tropical Pacific remained in an ENSO (El Niño – Southern Oscillation) neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña) during June 2017, but oceanic and atmospheric anomalies were mixed, with some indicators leaning towards El Niño and others towards La Niña.

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Principal Scientist - Climate

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