Retrospective - February to April Outlook

For February-April 2013 (early autumn) slightly higher than normal pressures were expected to the south of the country and southeast of the Chatham Islands, with weak anomalous flows from the north-east quarter over New Zealand. Much higher pressures than expected however occurred over the New Zealand region for the period as whole extending well east of the country. This climate pattern brought enhanced easterly flows across northern areas of the country.

Predicted rainfall: Rainfall is likely to be near normal or above normal in the north of the North Island, and near normal elsewhere.

Outcome: The rainfall forecast was correct for southern districts of the North Island, and many coastal areas of the Canterbury region; however, it was drier than expected in many other areas of the country – with well below normal rainfall observed in southern areas of Southland, the coastal fringes of North Westland and the Grey District, northern areas of the Bay of Plenty, and much of the districts of Taupo, Gisborne and Northland. In contrast, rainfall as much wetter than expected for the season across the north of the South Island (particularly Nelson and Marlborough districts).

Predicted air temperature: Temperatures are likely to be near average or above average in the north of the North Island, and near average in all other regions.

Outcome: The forecast was correct for the northern and eastern regions of the South Island as well as most coastal areas of the North Island; however actual temperatures were warmer than forecast for the south-west of the South Island and the central and eastern districts of the Waikato, Ruapehu, Taupo and the more northern districts of the Bay of Plenty.