December fire climate outlook available

The December seasonal fire climate outlooks are now available. This is the third set of outlooks produced for this fire season, describing how fire danger conditions are tracking in different parts of the country as we transition through summer. Reports are available for both the North and South Islands.

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.

Conditions across the country continue to reflect the moderately strong La Nina event’s effect on New Zealand’s weather.

In general, fire dangers and fire climate severity across much of the North Island are Low to Moderate, with regular rainfalls keeping fuels moist. This is likely to continue over the next few months, although areas to watch include Northland, Auckland, Hauraki and Gisborne (East Cape), where soils are currently dry and warm dry conditions are forecast for the latter part of this month.

Fire dangers and fire climate severity are also Low to Moderate across much of the South Island, except for parts of Marlborough, Canterbury, and Otago where High to Very High conditions exist. The risk of wildfire outbreaks will become more elevated in these latter regions with below normal rainfalls predicted, reaching High to Extreme. Specific areas to watch due to current soil moisture deficits and forecasted warm dry conditions for the second half of December include Mid-South Canterbury and Central Otago.

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