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Experts predict mild winter across New Zealand

Weather experts are predicting a milder than usual winter across New Zealand.Horse owners, rejoice. Weather experts are predicting a milder than usual winter across New Zealand.

Experts at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) say that, overall, temperatures for winter 2013, from June to August, are very likely to be above average across the entire country.

However, occurrences of cold snaps, frost and snow conditions should, of course, still be expected in many areas from time to time, as is typical of winter.

Sea surface temperatures around New Zealand’s coasts are also forecast to be above the climatological average for the coming three months.

Winter rainfall, defined as from June to August, is likely to be in the normal or above normal ranges in the north and east of the North Island, and near normal for the southwest of the North Island and for all the South Island.

Winter rainfall is likely to be in the normal or above normal ranges in the north and east of the North Island, and in the near normal range for the remainder of the country.

Soil moisture levels and river flows are likely to be above normal in the north of the North Island, normal or above normal in the east of the South Island, normal or below normal in the west and south of the South Island, and near normal in other regions.

Niwa says the equatorial Pacific Ocean remains in a neutral state – neither El Niño nor La Niña. International guidance indicates that these neutral conditions are likely to persist over the coming three months.

In the New Zealand region, higher than normal pressures are forecast south and southeast of the country, whereas lower than normal pressures are expected to the west and north of New Zealand. This circulation pattern is expected to be associated with more northerly and northeasterly airflow than usual, for the season as a whole.

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Soil temperatures this winter are expected to be above normal.

Regional predictions for the next three months:

Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty

Temperatures for the June–August period as a whole are very likely to be above average. Rainfall totals during this period are likely to be in the near normal or above normal ranges. Seasonal soil moisture levels and river flows are likely to be in the above normal range.

Central North Island, Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Wellington

Winter temperatures are very likely to be in the above average range. Seasonal rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows are all likely to be in the near normal range.

Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa

Winter temperatures are very likely to be above average. June–August rainfall totals are likely to be near normal or above normal. Seasonal soil moisture levels and river flows are likely to be in the near normal range.

Nelson, Marlborough, Buller

Winter temperatures are very likely to be above average. Seasonal rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows are all likely to be in the normal range.

West Coast, Alps and foothills, inland Otago, Southland

June–August temperatures are very likely to be above average. Winter rainfall totals are likely to be in the near normal range. Soil moisture and river flows are likely to be at near normal or below normal levels, for the season as a whole.

Coastal Canterbury, east Otago

June–August temperatures are very likely to be above average. Winter rainfall totals are likely to be in the near normal range. Soil moisture levels and river flows are likely to be at near normal or above normal levels, for the season as a whole.

 

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