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Decision Support Tools


NZ Drought Monitor

The New Zealand Drought Monitor is a system for keeping track of drought conditions across New Zealand based on a standardised climate index.

For more information, click here.

The index, called the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI), is a climate data-based indicator of drought based on four commonly-used climatological drought indicators: the Standardised Precipitation Index, the Soil Moisture Deficit, the Soil Moisture Deficit Anomaly, and the Potential Evapotranspiration Deficit. The index has five categories: Dry, Very Dry, Extremely Dry, Drought, and Severe Drought. It is presented as a map and as charts; updated daily (note, there is a two-day time delay to ensure all available data is used).

NIWA daily climate maps

These maps are updated daily and are based on data from NIWA's National Climate Database:

  • Soil moisture deficit
  • Soil moisture anomaly
  • Last 15 days rain
  • Month to date rain
  • Last 15 days sun
  • Month to date sun
  • Last 15 days temperature
  • Month to date temperature
  • Last 30 days Standard Precipitation Index (SPI)
  • Last 60 days SPI

For actual daily information, click here.

Below are some sample maps from a 15 day period in January where national temperatures were above normal.

Case Studies

Hear from the farmers who are using our resources to aid on-farm irrigation decisions and the impact its having on productivity, profits and the environment.