Warm, sunny but not for long enough

February's outlook is for warm sunny weather, and hot temperatures in some places, but the summer weather might be short-lived.

A high-pressure system to the east should mean a summer weekend for Otago, although Dunedin could experience an onshore breeze and isolated showers, MetService forecaster John Law says.

''It'll be pretty decent and most of [today] will be dry.''

The settled weather would extend into early next week with only the odd isolated shower along the coast, he said.

Temperatures would range from 18degC-19degC along the coast, to the mid-to-high 20s inland.

Otago residents will be hoping for a late summer, similar to last year, after a disappointingly cool and wet January.

Until Wednesday, Niwa figures showed Dunedin had received 80% of its normal rainfall, Oamaru had received 121% and Queenstown 106%. Temperatures were 1.4degC lower than normal in Dunedin, 2.7degC lower in Wanaka and 2.3degC lower in Queenstown.

Last year, a wet January was followed by a six-week dry spell broken only by a brief rainfall halfway through.

However, Niwa's seasonal climate outlook for the rest of the summer does not look good. Higher-than-usual mean sea-level pressures to the east and a weak southwesterly flow over the South Island are predicted.

Southwesterly flows had been responsible for the cool days and showers Otago had experienced in the past month, Mr Law said.

Niwa's February-to-April outlook suggested East Otago's temperatures, rainfall and river flows would be normal for the time of year.

Inland temperatures, rainfall and river flows were forecast to be normal or below normal.

In Dunedin in February normal rainfall was 68mm and temperatures averaged 18.8degC, while for March the figures were 64mm and 17.5degC.

In Queenstown, February's normal rainfall was 48mm and temperatures averaged 22degC, while for March the figures were 53mm and 19.6degC.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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