MetService has issued a warning to farmers as evidence grows that a major El Niño event is underway.
It is marked by weather extremes, including very dry conditions.
The ingredients of an El Niño event have been there for a few months, bringing to New Zealand a colder-than-usual June and July.
There is now stronger evidence of an El Niño event growing, as parts of the Pacific are 2degC warmer than usual – something which has not happened since 1997 and 1998.
The news for spring is not looking good, which is forecast to be colder, stormier and windier, with more southerlies.
Going into the Christmas-New Year period, it will be wetter in the west and very dry in east, with potentially drought conditions.