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Seasonal Climate Outlook: January – March 2005

Friday 7 January 2005

Seasonal Climate Outlook: January – March 2005

Relatively Cool Temperatures Through To March With More Westerlies And Southwesterlies; Drier In The North Island North And East

Climate and Oceans: Weak El Niño conditions are very likely to continue for the next three months, with below average sea temperatures around New Zealand in January tending average by March. Stronger than normal west to south westerly winds are likely for the three month period.

The chance of an ex-tropical cyclone affecting New Zealand over the late summer is near the long-term average. Typically, one cyclone passes within 500 km of New Zealand in each cyclone seasons, with the highest risk in late summer and early autumn.

Temperature: Air temperatures are expected to be below average over the entire country. Rainfall, Soil Moisture and Stream flows: Normal or below normal rainfall is expected in the north and east of the North Island and normal rainfall elsewhere. A gradation of soil moisture levels and streamflows is expected across the country, ranging from below normal to normal conditions in the north and east of the North Island to normal or above normal conditions in the west and south of the South Island.

Regional predictions for the next three months: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty: Below average January - March temperatures are likely. Near normal or below normal rainfall soil moisture levels and stream flows are expected.

Central North Island, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu and Wellington: Below average seasonal temperatures are expected. Normal seasonal rainfall, soil moisture levels and stream flows are likely.

Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa: Seasonal temperatures are forecast to be below average. Normal or below normal rainfall, soil moisture levels, and stream flows are expected.

Nelson, Marlborough, Buller: Below average January - March temperatures are predicted. Normal rainfall is expected. Normal soil moisture levels, and stream flows predicted for this region.

West Coast, Alps and Foothills, Inland Otago, Southland: Below average temperatures are forecast. Normal rainfall with normal or above normal soil moisture levels and riverflows predicted.

Coastal Canterbury, East Otago: Below average seasonal temperatures are expected with normal rainfall, soil moisture levels and stream flows expected.

ENDS

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