Cooler, drier summer expected

Otago is likely to be face a cooler, drier summer.

Niwa's seasonal climate outlook is warning of a possibly cooler than normal summer season for Otago.

Climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said while rainfall was expected to be in the normal range, soil moisture levels were expected to be quite dry.

"A rather cool, dry November has led to the soil drying out, so nationally it's quite a dry outlook."

A key impact on the forecast was the drop in sea temperatures in the past four weeks to a full 1degC below normal which knocked temperatures down, she said.

That meant more cool southwesterlies and fewer warm northwesterlies.

"You'll still get nice hot days, but mostly they'll be slightly cool."

It meant Otago's summer would be drier than last year, but most likely cooler, she said.

Neither El Nino nor La Nina was expected from December to February.

Instead, enhanced southwesterly winds were expected.

rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz