Rural Monthly Outlook:

February 2018 - Tropics in charge

Issued 15 February 2018

The tropics have been in charge of New Zealand weather maps so far this February.

Cyclone Fehi arrived early in the month, and then humid northeasterlies set up across most of New Zealand (with the notable exception of the far south of the South Island).

Looking ahead, the tropics continue to drive our weather for the remainder of February. Cyclone Gita is likely to feature early next week on the New Zealand weather maps. The latest information on TC Gita can be found in our blogs at, including a map of likely track towards New Zealand.

Rainfall by the numbers

It has been a very wet February, so far, across the bulk of the country. The wettest regions include Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Waikato, Bay of Plenty,and Nelson. Kerikeri has clocked up 268mm so far this month, with Te Puke 238mm,Pukekohe 177mm, Hamilton 181mm, Taupo 135mm, and Nelson Airport 143mm. This equates to more than double normal February in the regions, at only half way through the month! The remainder of the country has generally received 80-100 percent of the full February rainfall total, so far. The exceptions are Fiordland, and from Whanganui to the Wairarapa, with rainfall totals sitting at about half of February normal there.

Next week is also predicted to run much wetter than normal across most of the North Island and upper South Island, due to the Gita system. However, confidence remains lower than normal in the weekly rainfall patterns, and we recommend keeping up with severe weather information at

Frizzy February

Humidity levels, and night time temperatures, have been exceptional over the northern half of the North Island for the first half of February, and unusually high over the remainder of the North Island and also across Nelson and Marlborough. Ahead of Cyclone Gita, the humidity hangs around. However, once the system has cleared New Zealand around the middle of next week, a sharp, but short-term, change is expected in the temperatures. Expect a period of below average temperatures for inland parts of the South Island for the back half of next week, with the rest of the country dropping down closer to average. In addition, the mugginess eases, too.

Bottom line

Humid and wet weather is forecast for many regions of the country, ahead of Cyclone Gita. However, once the system has passed, predictions show a much cooler, drier, and less humid weather regime for the second half of next week.