'Average summer' forecast for NZ
4:01 PM Thursday Jan 7, 2010

New Zealanders can expect an average summer with a fair bit of wind, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

Conditions in January, February and March, were likely to be similar to what they were in December for most of the country, with all regions to experience average or below average temperatures, Niwa scientists said today.

Temperatures were likely to be near average for Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, coastal Canterbury and east Otago.

In the rest of the country temperatures were likely to be average or below average.

There would still be warm spells at times, especially in eastern areas in north-westerly conditions, Niwa said.

Average sea level pressures were likely to continue to be higher than normal in the north and lower than normal in the south, resulting in stronger than normal westerlies across the country.

Soil conditions in the north and east of the North Island and much of the eastern South Island were likely to continue to be dry.

The north and east of the North Island would also likely see below normal rainfall.

Rainfall was expected to be normal or below normal in Nelson-Marlborough and normal elsewhere.

The El Nino, well-established in the equatorial Pacific, was likely to persist at moderate intensity, before weakening in autumn.

El Nino events could often lead to dry conditions in eastern and northern parts of New Zealand during summer, Niwa said. They were also often associated with cooler than average conditions in the New Zealand.

- NZPA

From here.