Three-month outlook

The outlook for May to July 2003

A relatively mild early winter is expected, with above average local sea surface temperatures. For May-July, temperatures are expected to be above average over the North Island and north of the South Island, and average or above average over the rest of the South Island.

Normal or below normal rainfall is expected in the east of both Islands, with near normal rainfall likely elsewhere.

Soil moisture levels are predicted to be normal in most regions, but normal or below normal in the western North Island and northern South Island. River flows are expected to be normal in the northern North Island and western South Island, normal or below normal in the western North Island and northern South Island, and below normal in the east of both islands.

The El Niño event in the tropical Pacific has died out, and no El Niño influence is expected over the next three months.

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).