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A Mild Start To Winter Likely

Wednesday 4 May 2005

Seasonal Climate Outlook: May - July 2005

A Mild Start To Winter Likely

Climate and Oceans: More westerlies and north westerlies than normal are expected over the country, with sea temperatures around New Zealand tending to be above average. The tropical Pacific is in a neutral but borderline El Niño state. While conditions may stay in the neutral range, there is a significant chance of an El Niño developing by spring.

Temperature: Air temperatures are expected to be above average in all districts, with a decreased risk of frosts likely in many places for early winter.

Rainfall, Soil Moisture and Stream flows: Normal or above normal rainfalls are likely in western districts and the north of the South Island, with normal rainfall in the north of the North Island and east of the South Island, but tending towards below normal in the east of the North Island. Normal or below normal soil moisture levels and streamflows are expected in the north and east of the North Island. Normal soil moisture levels and streamflows are expected in the southwest of the North Island and over all the South Island.

Regional predictions for the next three months:

Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty: Above average temperatures are likely during May - July. Near normal rainfall is expected, with normal or below normal stream flows and soil moisture.

Central North Island, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu and Wellington: For May - July, above average temperatures are expected. Normal or above normal seasonal rainfall is likely, with normal soil moisture levels and streamflows.

Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa: Temperatures are forecast to be above average during the May - July period. Normal or below normal rainfall, soil moisture levels and streamflows are expected.

Nelson, Marlborough, Buller: Above average May- July temperatures are expected, with normal or above normal rainfalls. Normal soil moisture levels and stream flows are predicted for this region.

West Coast, Alps and Foothills, Inland Otago, Southland: Above average seasonal temperatures are forecast. Above normal or normal rainfall is predicted, with normal soil moisture levels and river flows.

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

ENDS

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