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Mild Winter and Damp in Some Places

NATIONAL CLIMATE CENTRE 6 June 2006

SEASONAL CLIMATE OUTLOOK: JUNE - AUGUST 2006

Mild Winter and Damp in Some Places

The next three months are likely to see milder than average winter temperatures persisting in many areas. Wetter than average conditions are likely in northern New Zealand, and the east of the South Island. For the rest of the country, including the South Island hydro catchments, the most likely outcome is average winter rainfall conditions.

The NIWA National Climate Centre outlook for winter (June – August) predicts normal or above normal temperatures for the North Island, and north of the South Island. Above normal soil moisture levels and stream flows are also likely in the north of the North Island and the east of the South Island, with normal flows likely in the major South Island rivers fed from
the Southern Alps. The Centre says apart from the north of the North Island and east of the South Island, rainfall is likely to be normal.

Overall Picture

Temperature:
Air temperatures are likely to be average or above average in the North Island and the northern South Island, and near average over the rest of the South Island. Despite the overall temperature expectation, cold outbreaks typical of winter will nevertheless occur from time to time. Sea surface temperatures in the New Zealand region are expected to be near average during most of the winter period.

Rainfall, Soil Moisture, and Stream flows:
Rainfalls are likely to be normal or above normal in the north of the North Island and east of the South Island, and near normal elsewhere. Above normal soil moisture and streamflows are likely in the north of the North Island, and east of the South Island. Normal soil moisture and stream flows are likely in the west and south of the South Island. Normal or above normal soil moisture and riverflows are likely in other parts of New Zealand.

Regional predictions for the next three months:

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

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

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

Nelson, Marlborough, Buller:
Normal or above normal temperatures are likely. Normal rainfall and riverflows are likely, with normal or above normal soil moisture levels likely.

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

Coastal Canterbury, East Otago:
Normal temperatures are likely. Above normal rainfall, stream flows and soil moisture levels are likely.


Background

Climate and Oceans:
Predicted circulation patterns for winter 2006 indicate higher pressures south and east of the South Island, with an easterly or northeasterly flow anomaly over New Zealand.

The tropical Pacific is now in a neutral state with respect to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. The tropical Pacific should remain in a neutral state over the next 3 months and probably beyond.


ENDS

More information can be found on NIWA’s Website at: http://www.niwascience.co.nz/ncc
© Copyright NIWA 2006. All rights reserved. Acknowledgement of NIWA as the source is required.

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