Outlook and outcome – December 2002 to February 2003

Rainfall was near or below average as predicted in most regions, but above average in a few areas of the northern North Island. It was drier than expected in the southwest North Island.

Air temperatures were near or below average in most regions as expected.

River flows were variable. Above normal flows occurred in parts of Northland, Waikato, and East Cape. Normal or below normal flows occurred in other locations, with a tendency for below normal for streams in Taranaki, central North Island, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay, and the north, east, and south of the South Island.

The outcome maps shown here give the tercile rankings of the rainfall totals and mean temperatures that eventuated for these months. Terciles were obtained by dividing ranked December to February data from the past 30 years into three groups of equal frequency (lower, middle and upper one-third values) and assigning the data for the present year to the appropriate group. (Click to enlarge)

As an approximate guide, middle tercile rainfalls often range from 80 to 115% of the historical average. Middle tercile air temperatures typically occur in the range of the average plus or minus 0.5°C.