Outlook - December 2011 to February 2012

A weak to moderate La Niña is in place in the tropical Pacific and should persist into early 2012. Mean sea level pressures for summer as a whole are likely to be above normal across the South Island and southern North Island, but below average to the north of New Zealand. Temperatures are likely to be above average for the West Coast, and average or above average in all other regions. Summer rainfall is likely to be near normal for the north of the North Island, below normal for the West Coast, and normal or below normal elsewhere. Temperatures are likely to be above average for the West Coast, and average or above average in all other regions.

Summer rainfall is likely to be normal or above normal for the north of the North Island, near normal for the eastern North island, below normal for the West Coast of the South Island, and normal or below normal elsewhere.

Soil moisture levels and river flows are likely to be near normal in eastern regions of both Islands, and normal or below normal elsewhere.

For the tropical cyclone season (November 2011 to May 2012), fewer than the normal number of cyclones is expected overall. The chance of an ex-tropical cyclone passing close to New Zealand is below the long-term average. On average, at least one ex-tropical cyclone passes within 500km of New Zealand in 9 out of 10 cyclone seasons.

See our full December - February climate outlook