Three-month outlook

The outlook for April 2004 to June 2004

A tendency towards more south or southwesterly winds is likely. Sea surface temperatures close to New Zealand are expected to remain lower than normal.

Air temperatures are expected to be below average in the South Island and average or below average in the North Island. More frosty nights than usual are expected, especially in the first half of the period.

Rainfalls are expected to be near normal in many regions, but below normal in the northern North Island, and normal or below normal in the eastern South Island.

Soil moisture levels are expected to be below normal in the northern North Island, below normal or normal in the north and east of the South Island, and near normal elsewhere. River flows are expected to be normal in most regions, but below normal in the northern North Island and below normal or normal in the eastern South Island.

The Equatorial Pacific is in a neutral state, and no El Niño or La Niña is expected through the middle of 2004. There is only a small risk of an ex-tropical cyclone affecting New Zealand during April.

 

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).