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New Zealand Climate Update 235 - January 2019

What happened in December, how our climate outlook for the previous three months turned out, global and local sea temperatures, and our outlook for January-March.

Global setting: December 2018

Over the past month, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central Pacific (NINO3.4 Index, 5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W) have remained above normal with anomalies currently exceeding +0.8°C. This marks the fourth consecutive month SST anomalies in the central Pacific have exceeded 0.7°C, which meets NIWA’S technical oceanic definition for El Niño.