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Outlook and outcome – December 2003 to February 2004

Rainfall was near normal or below normal, as predicted, in the eastern South Island and in Southland, but above normal in most other districts.

Air temperatures were higher than predicted in the east and north of New Zealand, while they were average or below average elsewhere as forecast.

River flows were below normal as predicted in the east of the South Island and in Bay of Plenty and Northland. Some flows in the central and southern North Island, and the west of the South Island, were higher than predicted, while others were normal as forecast.

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.