Global Setting – August 2013
The equatorial Pacific Ocean as a whole remains in a neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña), although colder than normal (La Niña-like) sea temperatures persist in a shallow surface layer in the eastern equatorial Pacific. International guidance indicates that ENSO-neutral is the most likely outcome for the next three months (September–November). For the New Zealand region, higher pressures than normal are forecast south of the country, while lower pressures than normal are expected from Queensland eastwards. This circulation pattern is expected to produce more northerlies or north-westerlies affecting the North Island, and a weaker than normal westerly flow over the South Island.
Sea Surface Temperature
Sea surface temperatures are forecast to be above the climatological average for the coming three months around New Zealand.