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El Niño summer approaching - concern for farmers

El Niño summer approaching - concern for farmers expected

The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) will host a seminar by NIWA’s National Climate Centre co-ordinator Dr. Jim Salinger on Wednesday 4 December which will discuss the climate outlook for the coming summer.

Dr. Salinger said the El Niño weather pattern, which typically lasts 12 to 18 months, will have its most intense effects in eastern New Zealand - however, the Auckland region could expect drier conditions through the summer.

“Last month, Auckland recorded its highest October sunshine hours since recording began in 1909. Rainfall outlook for summer is expected to be below average or average. It is important for farmers and all in the agriculture industry to keep abreast of the upcoming weather patterns,” Dr. Salinger said.

ARC Hazards Management Analyst Adam Paterson said the Auckland region is vulnerable to various natural hazards but this summer, droughts could be a significant factor.

“In terms of hazard, droughts can have significant implications for water supply and agriculture,” said Mr Paterson

Mr. Paterson said that the Waikato pipeline will significantly reduce the potential for water restriction, however there could be significant impact on Auckland’s agricultural and horticultural industries, in particular: reduced number of livestock and resultant economic loss significant economic loss to the horticulture industry increased potential risk of wildfires

“You only have to look at the increase in frequency of bushfires in Australia to realise that weather patterns can create hazards which are a real threat, whether it be through storms, floods or droughts,” Mr. Paterson said.

The seminar, titled “The Summer Ahead – El Niño a concern”, is open to the public and will be held Wednesday 4 December 2002 at the Auckland Regional Council Chambers, Pitt Street, Auckland starting at 3pm.

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