Winter to be a little warmer than usual

A mild winter is being forecast for Otago and Southland.

The Niwa seasonal climate outlook for June to August released yesterday predicted neutral conditions were likely throughout the country over the next three months. Higher-than-normal pressures were being forecast for the south and southeast of the country, while lower-than-normal pressures were expected to the west and north of New Zealand, Niwa climate variability and change principal scientist Brett Mullan said.

''It will be about half a degree to a degree warmer than usual. Winter is typically 10degC colder than summer, so people won't be going to the beach in Dunedin,'' Dr Mullan said.

''You can still expect southerlies and frosts down there but, hopefully, you won't be getting locked in snow.''

Temperatures and sea surface temperatures around New Zealand coasts were very likely to be above average across the entire country during winter, while soil moisture levels and river flows were likely to be above normal in the east of the South Island and normal or below normal in the west and south of the South Island.

Temperatures in East Otago and Coastal Canterbury were very likely to be above average, while winter rainfall totals were likely to be in the near normal range. Soil moisture levels and river flows were likely to be at near normal or above normal levels.

Temperatures in the West Coast, inland Otago and Southland were very likely to be above average, while winter rainfall totals were likely to be in the near normal range. Soil moisture and river flows were also likely to be at near normal or below normal levels, he said.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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