Massive increase in March rainfall

Significant rainfall totals were experienced in North Island in March, with over 300 per cent of normal rainfall recorded in some places.

Most locations in the North Island had a wet month, recording 120 per cent of normal March rainfall or more.

As a result, sunshine hours were well below normal in most places.

NIWA’s climate outlook to June 2017 forecasts a 45 per cent chance of below normal rainfall in the north and east of the North Island, and equally likely to be near normal (40 per cent chance) or below normal (40 per cent chance) in the west of the North Island.

In the Bay of Plenty, temperatures are likely to be above average, while rainfall is expected to settle back down to normal levels. Soil moisture and river flows, however, may be higher than average.

Weather in the first half of April was much more severe than usual, with two cyclones blowing through, flooding Edgecumbe and closing schools across the Bay of Plenty in the lead-up to Easter.

Revisit some of SunLive’s flooding photos and videos here and here.