There is concern that drought may be on the way for some parts of the country, with the upper North Island forecast to have a drier-than-normal January.
2020 saw extremely tough conditions for farmers and growers in parts of the country like the Hawke's Bay, who faced the worst drought in recent memory. Now, forecasters warn some regions could be set for another difficult summer.
Northern New Zealand - parts of the country north of Taupo - has now had two years of below-normal rainfall, according to WeatherWatch.
"Coupled with a much drier than usual start to summer [that] means many regions look like they are at the start of February already, not the end of December," forecasters said.
WeatherWatch, which released its long-range climate forecast for January on Thursday, said although the presence of La Niña was becoming more obvious on weather maps, "stubborn high pressure over the North Island won't budge much".
While areas north of New Zealand, northern Australia and much of the Tasman sea are dominated by low pressure, high pressure continues to dominate east of New Zealand, over the upper North Island and across southern Australia.
"High pressure just east of the North Island - extending back and covering the upper North Island - has been a frequent set up across 2020, leading to Auckland's water storage crisis and placing many farms in the upper North Island into much drier territory than usual for this time of the year," forecasters said.
"Now, as we head into January 2021, we see little signs of change for the upper North Island, although we do expect an uptick in afternoon downpours inland which will bring small pockets of relief to dry places."
Many farmers have been hoping for a strong La Niña this year, however WeatherWatch said it would be only moderate and short-lived. Forecasters said while it would be a "silver lining for dry areas, it is not a silver bullet to fix the droughts".
"We need at least two significant rain events in the upper North Island simply to begin making up for two drier-than-normal years in a row."
According to the forecast, the rain produced by La Niña this summer would be a "bit patchy", and would mainly be coming in from the west and into the South Island from Australia.
WeatherWatch said while it was up to local authorities to declare when droughts technically form, "the weather is encouraging drought-like conditions already and we expect some places to get drier in the weeks ahead - not wetter".