An El Niño event which would influence New Zealand’s climate during spring and the 2002-03 summer is looking more likely now than it did a month ago.
For the immediate outlook period, June-August 2002 (winter), New Zealand temperatures are expected to be normal or above normal in all regions.
Rainfall is expected to be below average in all eastern regions, and near average elsewhere, except for normal or above normal rain in the west of the South Island.
Normal soil moisture levels and river flows are predicted for all regions of the country, except for the east of both islands where below normal soil moisture levels and river flows are likely .
A. Climate models give no strong signals about how the climate will evolve, so we assume that there is an equal chance (33%) of the climate occurring in the range of the upper, middle or lower third (tercile) of all previously observed conditions.
B. There is a relatively strong indication by the models (60% chance of occurrence) that conditions will be below average, but, given the variable nature of climate, the chance of average or above-average conditions is also shown (30% and 10% respectively).