Three-month outlook

The outlook for February 2005 to April 2005

Sea surface temperatures around the country are below average at present, but are expected to recover to near average for most of the period.

Air temperatures are expected to be average or below average in all regions.

Relatively dry conditions are expected, with rainfalls likely to be normal or below normal in all districts. Soil moisture levels are expected to be below normal in the north of the North Island, normal or below in the east of both islands, and near normal elsewhere.

Stream flows are expected to be below normal in the north of the North Island and the east of the South Island, normal or below normal in the east of the North Island, and normal elsewhere.

Weak El Niño conditions are very likely to continue in the tropical Pacific through to the end of March, after which neutral conditions are likely.


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).