Another atmospheric river event is forecast to bring more heavy rain across parts of New Zealand’s North Island in the coming days following an unprecedented rainfall event that brought severe flooding to the Auckland area and left 4 people dead on January 27, 2023.
The presence of a low level jet (LLJ), or strong wind in the lower atmosphere, combined with tropical moisture to create persistent heavy rain in the Auckland area on Friday, January 27, 2023, resulting in widespread severe flooding, destruction and casualties.
Another slow-motion earthquake, or “slow slip event,” is now underway on the Hikurangi subduction plate boundary offshore the North Island’s east coast. The amount of slow slip movement during the last month has released energy equivalent to a magnitude 7 earthquake.
After a run of particularly wet weather for New Zealand’s Gisborne region, one location has beaten its record for the highest January rainfall since 1937.
Recent activity at New Zealand’s Ruapehu volcano has shown an increase in the temperature of the summit Crater Lake, known as Te Wai ā-moe, rising to more than 30 °C (86 °F) and consistent with heat flow into the lake of about 150-200 MW. Despite this, the level of volcanic unrest activity remains low, with monitoring indicators remaining within the normal range for this type of activity. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 1 and the Aviation Color Code remains Green, indicating a low risk of eruption.
Tropical Cyclone “Hale” formed on January 7, 2023, as the first named storm of the 2022/23 South Pacific cyclone season. The system tracked into New Zealand’s area of responsibility on January 8 and was reclassified as a tropical low by New Zealand’s MetService.
GeoNet experts have been busy collecting and analyzing data to help them understand exactly what happened during and following the M5.7 earthquake at Lake Taupō on November 30, 2022, including ground shaking, landslides, volcanic activity, and a tsunami.
An observation-gas flight confirms the active vents at White Islands volcano, New Zealand are continuing to emit a minor-moderate steam and gas plume, GeoNet reported on December 12, 2022. The Volcanic Alert Level (VAL) remains at 2.
More than 600 aftershocks have been recorded following the M5.6 earthquake beneath Lake Taupō, New Zealand on November 30, 2022 — one of the largest recorded in Lake Taupō region. No further unusual activity has been observed and the minor volcanic unrest at Taupō volcano continues. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1.
About 20 m (65.6 feet) of foreshore in Wharewaka, Lake Taupo, New Zealand disappeared after a strong and shallow M5.6 earthquake and numerous aftershocks at Taupō volcano at the end of November 2022.