Outlook - January to March 2012

A moderate La Niña is in place in the tropical Pacific and should persist into early autumn 2012. Mean sea level pressures for late summer 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 average or above for the east South Island, and above average in all other regions. Late summer rainfall is likely to be above normal for North Island regions, normal or above in Nelson-Marlborough, and below normal for the remainder of the South Island. 

Temperatures are likely to be average or above average for the eastern South Island, and above average in all other regions.

Seasonal rainfall is likely to be above normal for all North Island regions, normal or above normal in Nelson-Marlborough, and below normal or normal for the remainder of the South Island.

Soil moisture levels and river flows are both predicted to follow a very similar regional pattern to rainfall: they are likely to be above normal for all North Island regions, normal or above normal in Nelson-Marlborough, and below normal for the remainder of the South Island.

For the tropical cyclone season through to May 2012, fewer than the normal number of cyclones is expected overall. January to March is typically the most active part of the cyclone season. However, the chance of an ex-tropical cyclone passing close to New Zealand is expected to be 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 January - March climate outlook