Aotearoa Summary. 16 February 2018 - 26 February 2018

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Magnitude 4 risk locations are Doubtful Sound, Te Anau, Lower Hollyford River, Upper Whataroa River, Upper Godley River, Culverden, Kaikoura, Upper Awatere Valley, Waima River, Ward, Cape Campbell, Seddon, Oteranga Bay, Makara, Offshore Paraparaumu, West of Levin, South Taranaki, Taumarunui, Eketahuna, Dannevirke, Waipukurau, Hastings, Northern Hawkes Bay, East Cape.
Volcanoes quiet.
The forecast period is likely to be extended.

Update. 17 February 10.30pm
16 February.
Taramakau River/Aickens 4.2 12.13pm
West Manapouri 4.6 7.32pm
Solar quake driving conditions arrived on cue late 15 February.
Quakes have become busy with some good location success so far.
Quite busy along the length of the giant Hope Fault from Kaikoura to West Coast.
Solar conditions are steady on 17 February and seem likely to continue for a few days.
Isolated Mag 4 quakes seem possible on 18 February.
Possibility Mag 5 South Island. Confidence = low.

Update. 19 February 12.00am
18 February.
West of Waipukurau 5.2 8.43pm
The forecast outlook for possible South Island Mag 5 action will keep the sceptics guessing.
Plenty of South Island action on 17 February has translated to the North Island on 18 February.
Local quakes were generally busy on 18 February.
Solar conditions increased late in the day to strong and steady.
Isolated Mag 4 quakes are possible on 19 February.
The forecast period may continue to a quake peak late on 21 February after which solar quake driving conditions are likely to fade away.

Update. 20 February 10.30am
19 February.
North of East Cape 3.7 2.28am
North of East Cape 3.7 11.46pm
Porangahau 3.6 11.59pm
Local quakes fell below Mag 4 on 19 February.
Moderate solar quake driving conditions kept quakes ticking along.
This pattern is likely to continue until the end of the period on 22 February when quakes may increase before fading away.
Isolated Mag 4 quakes are possible 20 February.
Solar conditions are likely to keep ex-Cyclone Gita powered up.
Meteorologists underestimated the strength of Cyclone Fehi on the 1 February Supermoon but seem to have learnt their lesson and are issuing all sorts of warnings for Gita.

Update. 21 February 3.00pm
20 February.
Culverden 3.6 8.02pm
Quakes eased back on 20/21 February.
Solar conditions have steadily fallen to just above the quake driving threshold.
Very isolated Mag 4 quakes ahead of a possible brief pickup on 22 February as the forecast period closes.
Ex-Cyclone Gita crossed New Zealand late 21 February, causing major flooding and damaging high winds.
Solar conditions were moderate at the time, allowing the storm system to maintain strength as it moved south.

Update. 23 February 9.00am
22 February.
Northeast of East Cape 4.7 2.41am. USGS, EMSC.
Quakes became very isolated on 21/22 February.
A solar pickup has occurred but low forecast confidence was justified, solar conditions barely made it above the quake driving threshold.
Solar conditions have continued on 23 February at moderate levels with occasional bigger fluctuations.
The forecast period is extended to 23 February.
Quakes are likely to be very isolated.
Possibility Mag 5. Confidence=low.

Update. 24 February 9.30am
23 February.
Northwest of D'Urville Island 3.8 7.10pm
Local quakes were under Mag 4 and isolated on 23 February.
Solar conditions remained steady instead of fading away as forecasted.
New solar conditions are due late 24 February.
A buildup may be underway.
Isolated Mag 4 quakes are possible on 24 February.
Possibility Mag 5 North Island. Confidence=low.
Lower Taramakau River is added to Mag 4 risk locations.

Summary.
16 February.
Taramakau River/Aickens 4.2 12.13pm
West Manapouri 4.6 7.32pm
18 February.
West of Waipukurau 5.2 8.43pm
19 February.
North of East Cape 3.7 2.28am
North of East Cape 3.7 11.46pm
Porangahau 3.6 11.59pm
20 February.
Culverden 3.6 8.02pm
22 February.
Northeast of East Cape 4.7 2.41am. USGS, EMSC.
23 February.
Northwest of D'Urville Island 3.8 7.10pm
26 February.
Tapuaenuku 4.1 11.40am
The forecast period had a perfect start but failed to pinpoint the end of the period.
Solar quake driving conditions arrived on cue and quakes followed with some good early location success.
The outlook for isolated Mag 5 action was justified on 18 February with the widely felt Waipukurau 5.2.
Ex-Cyclone Gita crossed New Zealand on 20 February with heavy rain and high winds. The storm was overall less intense than Cyclone Fehi on the 1 Feb. Supermoon but delivered some heavy deluges.
Solar conditions were steady next few days, against the forecast outlook for conditions to fade.
The period continued for several more days with a buildup to a big quake looking possible.
The forecast was dropped on 24 February after being extended too many times to remain accurate.
A substantial quake release on 26 February in Papua New Guinea was mirrored in New Zealand with a cluster of Mag 3/4 quakes.
The quake period ended on 26 February, following this late quake burst.
Dropping the forecast on 24 February was a mistake, a new forecast or extended low confidence forecast was an option that would have brought clearer results.
A new forecast period has begun on 27 February.
A forecast will be posted very soon.


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