Cool your hopes for summer
NZPA
Last updated 16:17 01/12/2009

Don't get out your togs and jandals just yet - summer is shaping up to be colder than average, Niwa's latest seasonal forecast shows.

Niwa climate scientist Brett Mullan said temperatures in all regions were expected to be below average from December through February as an El Nino system in the Pacific made its presence felt.

Rainfall and soil moisture levels were also likely to be below average in the north and east of both islands, which could have an impact on agriculture, he said.

"It doesn't look so good in those areas - those are the regions that are likely to be more affected."

The weather over summer would be consistent with El Nino conditions, Dr Mullan said.

"In the last two months the system in the tropics got a bit stronger, so it's now starting to affect us.

"We expect it to just continue right through summer."

The El Nino system would gradually weaken over autumn, making the months after February cooler than usual, he said.

It was too early to predict the weather over the Christmas and New Year period because seasonal forecasts could not provide weekly breakdowns, he said.

"It's nowhere near as precise and never will be as a daily weather forecast.

"We just have to do the best we can and hope that people are able to make use of it."

From here.