A moderate La Niña is in place in the tropical Pacific and is likely to persist into mid-autumn 2012. Temperatures are likely to be average in most areas but average or above average in the western South Island. Early autumn rainfall is likely to be near normal for most regions, but normal or below normal in the west of the South Island. Soil moisture levels and river flows are likely to be near normal in most regions, but normal or below normal in the western South Island.
For the remainder of the tropical cyclone season through to May, around the normal number of cyclones is expected overall (January to March is typically the most active part of the cyclone season). On average, at least one ex-tropical cyclone passes within 500km of New Zealand in 9 out of 10 cyclone seasons.