Three-month outlook

The outlook for November 2003 to January 2004

Rainfall is expected to be normal or below normal for the eastern North Island, and normal or above normal for the western South Island, with normal rainfalls elsewhere. Average or above average temperatures are likely in eastern regions of both Islands, with average temperatures expected elsewhere.

Soil moisture levels and river flows are expected to be below normal or normal for the southeastern North Island, normal or above normal for the west and south of the South Island, and normal elsewhere.

The tropical Pacific is in a neutral state (no El Niño or La Niña) and is expected to remain so through to the end of summer 2003–04.

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).