It was forecast that the emergence of El Niño conditions, especially during the second half of the season, may influence periods of enhanced southwesterly wind flows. Actual pressures were slightly lower than normal to the north of New Zealand and slightly higher than normal to the south. This pressure set up led to slightly more easterlies than normal.
Predicted air temperature:August – October 2018 temperatures were forecast to be near average in the North Island.
Outcome:For all regions of the South Island, seasonal temperatures were expected to be above average or near average. Actual temperatures were near average for virtually the whole country. Small pockets of slightly above average temperatures were found in Manawatu-Whanganui, Marlborough, the Bay of Plenty and along the West Coast.
Predicted rainfall:August – October 2018 rainfall totals were forecast to be near normal or below normal in the north and east of the North Island and the north of the South Island. For the west of the North Island and the west and east of the South Island, near normal rainfall totals for the season as a whole were forecast.
Outcome:Actual rainfall was below normal for much of the country. The exceptions were the coastal fringes of Gisborne down through to Hawke’s Bay and parts of Otago where above normal rainfall was recorded.