Three-month outlook

The outlook for September to November 2003

A mild spring is expected, with above average temperatures over all the North Island and north of the South Island, with average or above average temperatures over the rest of the South Island.

Normal or below normal rainfall is expected in the east of both islands, while normal or above normal rainfall is expected in western areas of both islands and in Northland. Overall, above normal rainfall is expected in the north of the South Island, but it may tend towards below normal in the east.

Normal soil moisture levels and flows are predicted for most of the country, except for normal or below normal flows for the east of the North Island, and below normal soil moisture levels and flows for the east coast of the South Island.

Sea surface temperatures around New Zealand are expected to remain above average, with local circulation patterns likely to favour enhanced westerly winds.

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).