More rain in the outlook
As the country moves away from summer NIWA is predicting more rain.
Temperatures are expected to remain warmer than average after January, which is the hottest month on record.
The February to April outlook is forecasting above average air temperatures for the whole country, with above average rainfall in the North Island and the north of the South Island.
In the west and east of the South Island rainfall is likely to be near normal, with a 35-40 per cent chance of being above normal.
Soil moisture and River flows are forecast to be above normal in the north of the North Island, equally likely to be normal or below normal in the west of the South Island, according to NIWA.
All other regions are given a 35-40 per cent chance of being normal or above normal.
Sea surface temperatures are forecast to remain significantly warmer than average for the next three months.
January 2018 was New Zealand’s hottest month on record, which of course means it was additionally the country’s hottest January on record.
Temperatures were well above average (>1.20°C of average) for the entire country, and locations in every region recorded either their record or near-record January temperature.
New Zealand’s mean January temperature was 20.3°C; 3.1°C higher than the 1981-2010 January average.
January 2018 was characterised by higher than normal sea level pressure to the east of New Zealand, and lower than normal sea level pressure to the west of the country which delivered more northerly-quarter winds than normal.
Sea surface temperatures in New Zealand coastal waters and the Tasman Sea remained considerably higher than normal throughout January.
January rainfall was well above normal through most of the top half of the South Island and many areas of the North Island. Percentages were 120-149 per cent above normal or more than 149 per cent above normal.
January rainfall was below normal for much of southland Otago and Hawke’s Bay.