February 2015 – A good news/bad news scenario

February 3, 2015

Highs that ‘blocked’ or parked over New Zealand during January 2015 kept skies clear and prevented rain bands from coming onto the country. It was one of the sunniest months on record – and it was also extremely warm and very dry across much of the country.

“There is some good news for farmers as we move into February 2015. The ‘block’ has gone for now – meaning weather systems are able to move more freely across the country, increasing the odds of showers or rain. Most regions are likely to see more rainfall in February than was observed in January,” said MetService Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths. “But the bad news is that February is traditionally a rather dry month, and the forecast for February 2015 is somewhat on the dry side. Even ‘normal’ February rainfall may fall short of what is wanted in the driest regions.”

The MetService outlook for February indicates a pattern change to cooler southwesterlies to start the month. The southwesterlies bring some welcome relief from the extreme heat of January, and push showers or rain across New Zealand. Tropical Cyclone Ola may also feed some moisture into the New Zealand region in the short-term. However, the Highs are expected to return to the South Island during the second week of February, and are likely to remain there for much of the month. Low pressures are expected to the north of the country during February, and may intermittently provide some rain from the tropics for northern New Zealand.

A drier than normal February is forecast for the South Island. Above normal February rainfall is expected for Northland, and possibly also Auckland and Coromandel too. For the remainder of the country, near normal February rainfall is likely.

“With respect to temperatures, we may be in the unusual situation where January 2015 is actually warmer than, or as warm as, February 2015,” Griffiths commented. The outlook for February is for near average temperatures for much of New Zealand, but with a hint of warmer than usual temperatures for Taranaki through to the Kapiti Coast, and also for the West Coast South Island.

For more information, the latest Rural Monthly Outlook can be found under the Rural section on www.metservice.com.

For further information please contact:
Georgina Griffiths Meteorologist 02 77 024 622

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