Mild end to winter tipped for country

Daffodils start to show beside Andersons Bay Rd in Dunedin. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY.
Daffodils start to show beside Andersons Bay Rd in Dunedin. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY.
New Zealand will experience a mild end to winter and remains on a “La Nina watch”.

Cold snaps and frosts should still be expected in typically colder locations, according to Niwa’s seasonal climate outlook for the next three months.

Meteorologist and forecaster Ben Noll said even if La Nina did not officially arrive, it would continue to influence the weather and could mean subtropical northeasterly winds, despite lower than normal air pressure being forecast in the southeast of the country.

"Westerly quarter airflow anomalies are expected for the season as a whole. The potential development of La Nina can influence periodic northeasterly quarter winds throughout the season," Mr Noll said.

During periods of northeasterly winds, subtropical low-pressure systems capable of producing heavy rainfall similar to those experienced in late June and mid-July were more likely, he said.

Niwa principal scientist Chris Brandolino said ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific would continue to run cooler than average in the east and central region.

La Nina conditions and ENSO-neutral conditions (which is in between the El Nino and La Nina extreme phases, meaning it is neither a warm nor cool phase) are about equally likely.

In inland Otago and Southland, temperatures are equally likely to be near average or above average.

Rainfall totals are most likely to be near normal as are soil moisture levels and river flows.

In coastal Otago, temperatures are most likely to be above average.

Rainfall totals are about equally likely to be near normal or below normal, as are soil moisture levels and river flows.

molly.houseman@odt.co.nz

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