What forecasters expect the weather to be like this summer

After a wet summer last year, Kiwis will be thankful to hear these holidays are looking to be hot and dry. 

NIWA forecasters are predicting warm temperatures this summer as El Niño has around a 100 percent chance of persisting through summer.

Appearing on AM, principal scientist Chris Brandolino said the theme for rainfall in the North Island is a "dry lean", which means rainfall will be near normal or below normal – so it's not likely to be as wet as last summer.

Brandolino added we do have to be mindful of dryness in the North Island, particularly for Auckland, Waikato, Northland and even the east of the North Island. Watercare has already warned Aucklanders to conserve water as the region heads into a dry summer. 

In the South Island, NIWA has forecast rainfall to be near normal or above normal, so a "wet lean", for western places. Strong lows are forecast to occasionally deliver heavy rainfall and flooding risk for the western and lower South Island in mid-to-late December.

While there could be a dry lean for places like Canterbury and eastern Otago. 

Average vs forecast rainfall.
Average vs forecast rainfall. Photo credit: NIWA

Going hand-in-hand with the dry weather is warmer temperatures.

NIWA is expecting temperatures to be warm everywhere this summer. Brandolino even said there will likely be periods where temperatures in some places will be in the middle to upper 30s.

NIWA said temperatures are most likely to be above average in the east of both islands and the north of the North Island. Temperatures are about equally likely to be near average or above average in all other regions.

"It doesn't mean every single day is going to be warm, I want to make that clear," Brandolino said. "In fact, one of the things we think this summer is going to show and reveal is variability – a lot of changeable weather."

"We've had these periods where it's been really, really warm and then it gets really, really chilly, and I think that will be a theme we'll see, especially the first half of this summer and probably to an extent for the entire summer."

Average vs forecast temperature.
Average vs forecast temperature. Photo credit: NIWA

December weather predictions

Brandolino said for the eastern South Island the next five-seven days will be a rollercoaster, with temperatures getting really warm for a day or two then dropping for a couple of days.

"Wash, rinse, repeat – we will probably see that theme for the next week," Brandolino said.

While, in the western and lower South Island strong lows will occasionally deliver heavy rainfall and flooding risk in mid-to-late December.

For the North Island, areas of heavy rain are possible during the first week of December with drier conditions likely thereafter.

"The good news is that as we approach mid-December, the Christmas period, odds are we should see drier conditions," Brandolino said.

For the rest of December, rainfall is looking to be near or below normal levels in the North Island. 

But dryness could become an issue as we work our way towards January, February and March, Brandolino added.