Better weather on way

A weather outlook for the next few months suggests Otago might be in for a warmer and drier time.

Niwa's January to March outlook released yesterday suggested temperatures were likely to be average or above average in the region while rainfall totals and river flows were most likely to be in the near normal category.

The improved outlook was the result of indications the equatorial Pacific Ocean would continue in a neutral state for the next three months.

The conditions were forecast to also continue throughout the autumn and early winter, but El Nino conditions were likely to develop by mid-year.

But for the next three months lower than normal pressures were forecast in the Tasman Sea, and north of New Zealand, while higher than normal pressure conditions were forecast to the southeast of the country.

This was expected to bring a weak flow from the northeasterly quarter, the outlook said.

Sea surface temperatures were expected to remain above average around the whole of New Zealand in the coming three months.

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