Temperatures, rainfall to be ‘near normal’

New Zealand may be experiencing major disruption under the Covid-19 pandemic, but at least the weather appears to be remaining in familiar territory.

Niwa National Climate Centre scientists are forecasting temperatures and rainfall to be "near normal" in the southern region over the next three months.

Principal scientist Chris Brandolino said El Nino-Southern Oscillation (Enso)-neutral conditions continued in April, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was neutral, and central Pacific sea surface temperatures were on the El Nino side of neutral.

"Oceanic Enso-neutral conditions will very likely persist over the next three months," Mr Brandolino said.

"Rainfall and thunderstorm patterns in the global tropics are expected to be associated with more westerly-quarter winds than normal — from southwest to northwest — around New Zealand.

"Sharp cold snaps are possible during the month of May as fronts move on to the country from the Tasman Sea and Southern Ocean."

In Southland and inland Otago, temperatures are most likely to be near average, and rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows are most likely to be near normal.

In coastal Otago, temperatures are equally likely to be near average or above average, and rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows are about equally likely to be near normal or below normal.

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