Meat & Livestock News

Weather Trends in New Zealand as 2024 Progresses

Rainy season perforated paper umbrella

As we step into 2024, New Zealand’s weather patterns continue to intrigue and challenge predictions. January has surprisingly been more summery than anticipated, with a mix of rain, thunderstorms, and drizzle, alongside significant periods of calm and settled weather.

Currently, the country’s soil moisture map presents a varied picture, resembling ‘Swiss cheese’ with patches of dry and wet zones. This is despite the presence of El Niño, which is a major influence but not the sole player in our weather dynamics. Other global factors are also impacting our local climate.

The unpredictability of the weather is a fascinating aspect of my job. This year, for instance, El Niño is a dominant force, but other elements like the extra marine and atmospheric warmth, coupled with persistent low pressure near Sydney, are contributing to a complex weather scenario. It’s akin to a ‘Weather World Cup’, where multiple factors are competing, making it challenging to predict a clear winner.

In New Zealand, the weather pattern this year is quite favourable. While it’s been hot at times, the low-pressure zone in the Tasman Sea has moderated the hot nor’westers typically associated with El Niño, especially in the cooler lower South Island. This has resulted in more easterlies and northerlies for northern New Zealand, bringing additional downpours and thunderstorms.

Looking ahead, the interaction of low pressure in the Tasman Sea and the sub-tropics suggests a mixed forecast for February. We anticipate a combination of rainy spells interspersed with dry periods, a pattern likely to please most, though not all.

Regions with drier than usual soil moisture include parts of Northland, East Cape, the lower North Island (from Hawera to Wellington), Marlborough, South Canterbury, Central West Coast, and Southland. Conversely, areas like the Far North, Auckland, Western Coastal Waikato, Waitomo/King Country, and Central Plate

au are experiencing wetter conditions.

The upcoming weather highlights for New Zealand are as follows:

  • Monday, January 15, will see a cold front sandwiched between two high-pressure zones to the east and west.
  • Tuesday brings in the next high from Australia.
  • Wednesday is expected to have a few isolated showers at the top of the North Island, accompanied by easterlies.
  • Thursday and Friday will likely see some isolated showers in the upper North Island.
  • The weekend is set to be dominated by high pressure.
  • The following week appears more unsettled for New Zealand.

This forecast offers a glimpse into the dynamic and ever-changing nature of New Zealand’s weather as we move further into 2024. It’s a reminder of the intricate dance between various meteorological elements that shape our daily weather experiences.