Summer 2019 forecast: What can we expect?

A just-released climate outlook suggests we can look forward to a mainly settled summer.

NIWA's seasonal climate outlook for December to February says most parts of the country can expect a balmy few months.

"Temperatures are forecast to be above average (45 percent chance) or near average (40 percent chance) for all regions of New Zealand," it said. 

Near normal summer rainfall is likely for most regions, however, the north of the North Island has about equal chances for below normal or near normal rainfall, and the west of the South Island has about equal chances for above normal or near normal rainfall.

Conditions are expected to be dry for farmers in some parts of the North Island. 

"Soil moisture levels and river flows are about equally likely to be near normal (40 percent chance) or below normal (35-40 percent chance) for the east and north of the North Island," the report said.

Near normal (40-45 percent chance) soil moisture and river flows are expected for all other regions of New Zealand.

There's good news for summer swimmers in the outlook with warmer than normal sea temperatures.

"Above average or near average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are expected in New Zealand coastal waters during the next three months," the report noted.

Graphical representation of the regional probabilities.
Graphical representation of the regional probabilities. Photo credit: Supplied


Regional predictions for the November 2018 January 2019 season
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Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty

Temperatures are about equally likely to be above average (45 percent chance) or near average (40 percent chance). Rainfall totals are about equally likely to be near normal (40 percent chance) or below normal (35 percent chance). Soil moisture levels and river flows are equally likely to be near normal (40 percent chance) or below normal (40 percent chance).

Central North Island, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu, Wellington

Temperatures are about equally likely to be above average (45 percent chance) or near average (40 percent chance). Rainfall totals are mostly likely to be in the near normal range (45 percent chance). Soil moisture levels and river flows are most likely to be in the near normal range (40-45 percent chance).

Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa

Temperatures are about equally likely to be above average (45 percent chance) or near average (40 percent chance). Rainfall totals are mostly likely to be in the near normal range (45 percent chance). Soil moisture levels and river flows are about equally likely to be near normal (40 percent chance) or below normal (35 percent chance).

Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Buller

Temperatures are about equally likely to be above average (45 percent chance) or near average (40 percent chance). Rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows are all mostly likely to be in the near normal range (45 percent chance).

West Coast, Alps and foothills, inland Otago, Southland

Temperatures are about equally likely to be above average (45 percent chance) or near average (40 percent chance). Rainfall totals are about equally likely to be near normal (40 percent chance) or above normal (35 percent chance). Soil moisture levels and river flows are most likely to be in the near normal range (40 percent chance).

Coastal Canterbury, east Otago

Temperatures are about equally likely to be above average (45 percent chance) or near average (40 percent chance). Rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows are all mostly likely to be in the near normal range (40-45 percent chance).

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