Aotearoa Summary. 1 December 2018 - 17 December 2018

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Magnitude 6 risk locations are Milford Sound, Tutoko, Pyke River, Cascade River, Lower Arawhata River, Gisborne, Northwest of Gisborne, Tolaga Bay.
Magnitude 5 risk locations are Snares Islands, Resolution Island, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau, Masterton, Eketahuna, Dannevirke, Waipukurau, Porangahau, East Cape, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Tokoroa, Urewera, Taupo, Taumarunui, South of Taranaki.
Magnitude 4 risk locations are Hanmer, Kaikoura, Northern Seaward Kaikouras, Cape Campbell, Cook Strait, Motueka, Tapawera, Murchison, South of Wanganui, Northern Hawkes Bay.
Volcanos quiet.
Heavy pressure is building in the Pacific ahead of new solar conditions due late on 1 December.
North Island may be higher risk but possibility for big Fiordland/Haast action exists.
Be careful.

Update. 2 December 8.00am
2 December.
Rotorua 4.0 3.10am
Solar quake driving conditions have started a steady buildup from late on 1 December.
Risk locations and magnitudes remain unchanged.
Data indicates an undersea eruption may be underway in the Kermadec Islands, possibly Monowai on the Louisville Volcanic Chain.
Unless pumice is sighted on the sea surface of this remote area, an eruption is unlikely to be confirmed.
Solar conditions will continue building today and more quake action in the North Island.
The forecast period will be extended to 3 December at least.
Be careful.
Note. There is a computer problem and the map isn't updating on quakestorm.co.nz.
An updated map is on Facebook/Roary Arbon.

Update. 3 December 11.30pm
2 December.
North of East Cape 4.1 11.24pm
3 December.
North of East Cape 3.9 2.42am
Solar conditions continued today at a moderate level.
Quakes have been very busy at moderate magnitude in Fiji, Tonga, Kermadecs and are now migrating southward with action appearing north of New Zealand.
The infrequently forecasted Mag 6 outlook for New Zealand is maintained on 4 December.
North Island is now higher risk than Fiordland for a big quake.
Be careful.
Note. Quakestorm.co.nz is still having problems loading an updated map.
An updated map is loaded onto Facebook/Roary Arbon or the direct Facebook link to this site.

Update. 5 December 9.00am
4 December.
Waipukurau 3.7 10.10am
Local and Pacific quakes went quiet on 4 December.
Solar conditions were moderate and steady.
Data still shows a possible undersea eruption in Kermadec Islands or Tonga but no visual confirmation.
No obvious indication for action at White Island or Volcanic Plateau in this forecast period.
The forecast prior to the 30 October Taumarunui 6.2 was closed on 27 October...too early.
Quake response times are stretched out in 2018, unlike 2013-2017.
This is due to gentler but longer lasting solar wind streams in 2018 rather than coronal mass ejection shock waves from the sun 2013-2017 which give short quake response times.
The forecast period is extended to 5 December and probably for a few days beyond that so as to avoid the mistake of 27 October, closing the forecast period too early.
The decrease in quake timing accuracy in 2018 is hopefully offset by the major gains made in location accuracy over the last few years and especially 2018.
New Zealand remains Mag 6 risk.
Note. We're still having difficulty loading an updated map onto the website.
An updated map is posted onto Facebook/Roary Arbon or the direct Facebook link to quakestorm.co.nz

Update. 5 December 11.00pm
5 December.
Lake Heron 4.1 11.29am
Local quakes stayed mostly quiet today despite the huge Southern Vanuatu quake sequence.
Solar quake driving conditions are likely to continue on 6 December.
Northern Hawkes Bay, Taihape, Reefton are added to Mag 4 risk locations.
All other risk locations and magnitudes are unchanged.
Possibility Mag 6 North Island. Confidence=low.
Note. We're still having difficulty loading an updated map onto the website.
An updated map is posted onto Facebook/Roary Arbon or the direct Facebook link to quakestorm.co.nz

Update. 7 December 12.00am
Local quakes were quiet on 6 December.
The big South of Tanna 7.5, 6.6, 6.0 quake sequence yesterday brought a mini tsunami to Vanuatu but luckily no quakes here.
New solar conditions are due to arrive on 7 December.
Southwest Pacific is still the big quake hotspot so New Zealand is still a slight risk for a Mag 6 on 7 December.

Update. 8 December 12.30pm
7 December.
Gisborne 3.9 9.58am
North of East Cape 4.1 8.06pm
8 December.
East of Taihape 3.8 12.06pm
Local quakes returned with new solar conditions on 7 December.
Excellent location success but magnitudes are low.
Mag 6 is becoming less likely as the period progresses and is now low confidence.
No quake migration into New Zealand so far following the South of Tanna 7.5 sequence.
Local quakes are likely to be isolated 8-9 December with very mild solar conditions unlikely to drive major Pacific or local activity.

Update. 9 December 1.30pm
Local and Pacific quakes have faded away today.
Solar conditions are weak but occasionally fluctuating to strong for brief periods and enough to drive isolated quakes.
Local quakes are likely to be very isolated today.
Mag 6 is still possible next couple days as a late residual quake in the period.

Update. 12 December 8.30am
9 December.
Tauranga 3.6 6.50pm
10 December.
South of Kermadecs 4.4 9.38pm
11 December.
South of Kermadecs 4.3 7.31am
Northeast of Taihape 3.8 3.38pm
12 December.
Northeast of East Cape 4.1 1.48am
South of Kermadecs 4.3 4.47am
Persistent low magnitude rumbling north of New Zealand and more good location success at Taihape has come with the fluctuating solar conditions last days.
The Pacific is still active, another Mag 7 overnight and continuing solar activity.
Risk locations haven't changed much during the period so the map is retained.
The period is very long. This is a consequence of the gentler, longer lasting solar wind streams that come with the Little Ice Age.
Previously in 2012-2016, solar wind streams came mostly from explosive solar flares, bringing an initial shock wave and quickly fading in a couple of days....forecast periods were shorter.
The forecast period is extended to 13 December.
Risk magnitudes are unchanged.
Mag 6 risk = low confidence.

Summary.
2 December.
Rotorua 4.0 3.10am
North of East Cape 4.1 11.24pm
3 December.
North of East Cape 3.9 2.42am
4 December.
Waipukurau 3.7 10.10am
5 December.
Lake Heron 4.1 11.29am
7 December.
Gisborne 3.9 9.58am
North of East Cape 4.1 8.06pm
8 December.
East of Taihape 3.8 12.06pm
9 December.
Tauranga 3.6 6.50pm
10 December.
South of Kermadecs 4.4 9.38pm
11 December.
South of Kermadecs 4.3 7.31am
Northeast of Taihape 3.8 3.38pm
12 December.
Northeast of East Cape 4.1 1.48am
South of Kermadecs 4.3 4.47am
Northwest of Snares Islands 4.6 7.06pm
14 December.
Southwest of Dannevirke 4.5 9.05am
15 December.
North of East Cape 4.0 8.45pm
South of Kermadecs 4.2 9.42pm
South of Kermadecs 4.9 10.42pm
16 December.
North of East Cape 4.1 1.57am
North of East Cape 4.2 6.30am
South of Kermadecs 5.1 12.47pm
South of Kermadecs 5.2 2.04pm
North of East Cape 4.3 10.42pm
17 December.
North of East Cape 4.3 8.27am
North of East Cape 4.7 8.57am

This forecast became very messy due to an extremely long lasting solar windstream... a feature of the Little Ice Age which we are now within.
Timing was all over the place. Every time solar conditions looked to be fading away... they picked up again.
The speculated undersea Kermadecs eruption showing on data may have been the massive activity in Vanuatu during the period.
The 5 December South of Tanna 7.5, 6.6 and sequence was followed by the 15 December eruption and quake sequence at Ambrym.
Additionally, as the map dramatically shows, a huge quake sequence north of New Zealand began after the South of Tanna 7.5.
This is the first time such a huge number of quakes just north of New Zealand has been observed since 2012.
Luckily, Mag 6 never came to New Zealand, given the massive activity in nearby locations.
The 7 December addition of Taihape to risk locations was justified when two 3.8 quakes came soon after.
Quakes came mostly in higher Mag 5 risk locations giving good location success.
Magnitude risks were too high but given the nearby Pacific activity the forecasters feel that high magnitude had some justification.
A slow slip event (many small quakes over several weeks) in Gisborne may be underway as opposed to a single large quake where all the movement and energy is released suddenly.

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