November fire climate outlook now out

The November seasonal fire climate outlooks are now available. These outlooks provide a heads-up on how fire danger conditions are tracking in different parts of the country as we transition through autumn into summer. Reports are available for both the North and South Islands.

This month’s outlooks continue to show the effects of La Nina, with a moderate strength event now in place and likely to continue through to February. High pressure systems are forecast to centre over the south east of the country, with intermittent lows in the Tasman Sea. This combination draws moist, warm northeasterly winds from the tropics across northern New Zealand.

Over the next three months (November – January), New Zealand is expected to experience above average temperatures, with some significant warm spells forecast as we transition from spring into summer. Normal rainfall levels are expected for the upper North Island, and normal to below normal levels expected for remaining North Island locations. November is likely to bring continued dryness for many locations, but transition to increased chances of moisture and rainfall during December-January, consistent with recent La Niña events. There is a greater chance of heavy rainfall events for northern regions, but western and lower North Island locations are likely to experience dry conditions
into summer. Normal or below normal rainfall levels are expected for South Island regions. For the first half of summer, conditions will lean towards dry, until more subtropical moisture sweeps down from the north.

The risk of wildfire outbreaks over the next three months will be low to moderate for much of the country up until Christmas/New Year. However, elevated risks will develop in areas that continue to experience below normal rainfall, low soil moisture levels and above normal air temperatures. In the North Island, these locations include the Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/Whanganui, Wellington and Wairarapa regions; and in the South Island, Canterbury (north, mid and south) and Otago (central and coastal), and potentially also Nelson and Marlborough.

In addition to the outlook reports for each island, graphs comparing fire dangers (DC, BUI and CDSR) for individual weather station locations are also available.

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