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Coronavirus border restrictions mean six NIWA staff face four straight months at sea in a bid to keep an international ocean research project afloat.
Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month.
Scientists analysing end-of-summer snowline survey photos have estimated that 13 million cubic meters of ice have been lost from just one glacier from 2016 to 2019.
This is one of the most extreme drought events for Auckland in modern times and similar to one experienced in 1993/94.
Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley.
Please note that this will be the final Hotspot Watch update for this season. Weekly Hotspot Watches will return in the spring.
Analysis of drought conditions across New Zealand this year shows it is one of the most severe on record for some regions.
Minor to moderate soil moisture decreases across the entire North Island with severe meteorological drought in parts of northern Auckland, Coromandel and southern coast of Hawke's Bay. Drier than normal conditions are still present in the top of the South Island but significant rainfall in the west.
Moderate soil moisture increases in the western North Island and in the Far North, while soil moisture decreases were observed along the east coast and Wairarapa. Many parts of the South Island saw small soil moisture increases during the past week, although small decreases were observed in northern Canterbury.

A weekly update describing soil moisture patterns across the country to show where dry to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Regions experiencing significant soil moisture deficits are deemed “hotspots”. Persistent hotspot regions have the potential to develop into drought.

High waves pounding Wellington’s south coast today are being caused by a deep area of low pressure passing the Chatham Islands, according to NIWA forecaster Ben Noll.
The New Zealand Drought Index shows that severe meteorological drought remains across the Coromandel Peninsula and near Cape Reinga. Meteorological drought is found across parts of the Far North, Auckland, and far northern Waikato
In the North Island severe meteorological drought coverage has again receded significantly in the past week, although it is still widespread in the Coromandel Peninsula. Meteorological drought remains in place across parts of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, and East Cape. Meteorological drought has completely dissipated across the upper South Island, although widespread dry soils are still present.
Young New Zealanders can now access the most up-to-date educational material about the science of climate change and its impacts on Aotearoa thanks to NIWA’s new web section: 'Climate change information for climate solvers'

A weekly update describing soil moisture patterns across the country to show where dry to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Regions experiencing significant soil moisture deficits are deemed “hotspots”. Persistent hotspot regions have the potential to develop into drought.

A weekly update describing soil moisture patterns across the country to show where dry to extremely dry conditions are occurring or imminent. Regions experiencing significant soil moisture deficits are deemed “hotspots”. Persistent hotspot regions have the potential to develop into drought.

NIWA climate scientists are asking for volunteers to help give its historic weather project a quick, sharp boost.
Across the North Island, rainfall during the past week was quite variable. Moderate rainfall occurred in the West Coast and Southland. However, rainfall was generally meagre from Marlborough to southern Canterbury.
Across the North Island, rainfall during the past week was generally higher than several previous weeks, with many locations receiving 10-20 mm and isolated pockets of 30 mm or more.
Scientists have recorded more snow on the South Island glaciers this year, but they warn it is simply a temporary break rather than any good news on the climate change front.

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