'Strong' El Niño set to continue

  • 01/02/2016

As the summer heat continues in much of the country, there is still no end in sight for El Niño.

The weather pattern has caused unseasonably hot and humid conditions to affect New Zealand.

"El Niño typically can bring more frequent tropical cyclones up in the tropics farther north and we have to watch that because if those do drop down that can have an influence on New Zealand, especially northern and eastern parts of the North Island," NIWA's principal scientist Chris Brandolino told the Paul Henry programme this morning.

He says temperatures in the north and eastern parts of the North Island are hotter than normal, while "for the rest of the country there's about an equal chance for temperatures to be where they should be, or warmer than they should be."

Rainfall is most likely to be at normal levels for all the country except for the northern and eastern parts of the North Island, and the eastern part of the South Island, which is predicted to have normal or below normal rain fall," Mr Brandolino says.

El Niño"is still very strong" and not likely to weaken any time soon.

"We think it will continue for the next three months -- then things will quickly go to what we call 'neutral' and then as we look ahead for the next six months towards spring time, we're looking at either neutral or La Niña, which is the opposite of La Niño."