Dry, warm summer likely for South

Students enjoy the sun at St Kilda Beach. Photo: ODT
Students enjoy the sun at St Kilda Beach. Photo: ODT
Despite the latest cold blast most of New Zealand is in for an early summer with temperatures expected to exceed 30°C in some parts of the country this month.

Niwa has released its three month outlook and it's expected to be warm and dry for most parts of the country.

Across Otago and Southland, temperatures are likely to be average, if not warmer than average. Rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows in inland Otago and Southland are most likely to be near normal.

However, coastal areas of Otago are likely to experience below normal rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows.

Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said above average or near average temperatures are expected over the next three months and this month will start off quite warm, with some warm summer-like spells.

There were dryer than normal weather patterns across the country in September and October and that is expected to continue with normal to below normal rainfall expected for the whole of the North Island and the top and east coast of the South Island for the next three months.

The West Coast of the South Island is tipped to have quite a bit of rainfall in the coming weeks, but for the season as a whole it could also go through some long dry periods, Mr Noll said.

Higher than normal temperatures and a lack of rainfall would dry out the soil which would hit farmers and it could create a fire risk, he warned.

Mr Noll said warmer sea temperatures are also likely, and the temperature has already warmed up around New Zealand since the end of October with the trend likely to continue this month. Warmer sea temperatures will also influence air temperatures for the first month of summer, Mr Noll said.

New Zealand is on the cusp of an El Niño weather pattern and there is an 88 percent chance of New Zealand getting an El Niño over the next three months.

There has been less wind than average over the last couple of months, but gustier winds are likely over the next couple of months, Mr Noll said.

There were a lot of strong westerly winds forecast for November, he said.

Additional reporting Otago Daily Times

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