It is still too early to estimate how strong the impending El
Nino will be, Niwa says.
International guidance indicates El Nino is now the most
likely weather pattern to dominate in coming months, Niwa's
seasonal climate outlook for June to August says.
''However, to date the atmosphere has not fully responded to
the oceanic anomalies,'' it said.
While there was a 60% chance of El Nino developing this
winter, there was a 70% chance of it being active in spring
''If the system develops as expected, El Nino typically
reaches its peak during our summer, where it is related to
stronger or more frequent westerly winds.''
This typically led to dry conditions in east coast areas and
more rain in the west.
Despite similarities in the oceanic anomalies to those
recorded before the 1997-98 El Nino, it was too early to
comment on the potential strength of the event, the outlook
The outlook indicated temperatures would be above average or
average throughout Otago, while rainfall would be in the
River flows would be in the near-normal range, but soil
moisture levels inland would be in the near-normal or
below-normal range and on the coast in the normal or