Dry spells, high temperatures expected to continue across NZ into autumn

More dry spells and above average temperatures can be expected across New Zealand over the next three months, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research's latest seasonal climate outlook.

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So far this summer, the New Zealand's climate patterns have been influenced by a non-traditional central Pacific La Niña, including ongoing unusually dry conditions in northern and eastern parts of the North Island.

Between February and April, those conditions are expected to continue, with rainfall expected to be near or below normal in north and east parts of the North Island and west of the South Island, NIWA said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, temperatures are expected to be above average in the north of the North Island and near or above average in all other regions.

As well, though, NIWA said possible tropical cyclone activity in the western Pacific this month may have an impact on New Zealand.

"For New Zealand, phase 6 has historically brought near or above normal rainfall to the North Island and upper and western South Island. There is the potential for such a pattern and some locally heavy rainfall during the 2nd week of the month, but it looks brief.

"Should one of these features or their moisture affect New Zealand, heavy rainfall that can cause flooding would be possible for some regions, but it isn’t possible to predict where it would happen weeks in advance."