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Seasonal Climate Outlook: May–July 2006

3 May 2006

Seasonal Climate Outlook: May–July 2006

WET AND WARM IN THE NORTH. WET IN THE EAST.

The next three months are likely to be wetter than average in northern and eastern New Zealand, with mild temperatures persisting in the north. The rest of the country, including the South Island hydro catchments, can expect typical late autumn/early winter conditions.

The NIWA National Climate Centre outlook for May - July predicts above normal rainfall in the east of both islands and in the north of the North Island. Above normal or normal soil moisture levels and stream flows are also likely in these districts. The Centre says above normal or normal temperatures are predicted for the north and west of the North Island.

Overall Picture

Temperature:
Air temperatures are likely to be average in the South Island and east of the North Island, butvery likely to be above average or average in the north and west of the North Island. Sea surface temperatures in the New Zealand region are expected to trend from above average back to near average by July.

Rainfall, Soil Moisture, and Stream flows:

Rainfalls are likely to be above normal in the north and east of the North Island, normal or above in the east of the South Island, and near normal elsewhere. Above normal soil moisture and flows are very likely in the north and east of the North Island. Normal or above normal soil moisture and flows are likely in the north and east of the South Island. Normal soil moisture and flows are likely in the south-west of the North Island and the west and south of the South Island.

Regional predictions for the next three months:

Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty:
Above normal temperatures are very likely. Above normal rainfall is likely, with above normal stream flows and soil moisture very likely.

Central North Island, Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu and Wellington:
Normal or above normal temperatures are likely. Normal rainfall soil moisture and stream flows are likely.

Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa:
Normal temperatures are likely. Above normal rainfall is likely, with above normal soil moisture levels and stream flows very likely.

Nelson, Marlborough, Buller:
Normal temperatures and rainfalls are likely. Normal or above normal soil moisture levels, and stream flows are likely.

West Coast, Alps and Foothills, Inland Otago, Southland:
Normal temperatures and rainfalls are likely. Normal soil moisture and stream flows are likely.

Coastal Canterbury, East Otago:
Normal temperatures and normal or above normal rainfalls are likely. Normal or above normal stream flows and soil moisture levels are likely.

Background

Climate and Oceans:
Early winter is likely to see lower than normal pressures over and to the north of the North Island and higher pressures south of the South Island, with a northeasterly flow anomaly over New Zealand.

The tropical Pacific has essentially returned to a neutral state, although the atmosphere shows some weak La Niña features, which usually means a tendency for weakened westerlies and more northerly wind flows, generally mild temperatures, and a tendency towards above normal rainfalls in the northeast.

The tropical Pacific should remain in a neutral state over the next three months, with the remaining La Niña features weakening further over winter.

ENDS


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