Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Rain, rain and more rain likely

The rain may stick around this summer. Photo / Thinkstock
The rain may stick around this summer. Photo / Thinkstock

The rest of summer will be "more of the same" as the wet weather that has plagued the holiday period sticks around until at least March.

North Island holidaymakers hoping the rain that has defined summer will give way to dry conditions will be disappointed, experts predict.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) has released a three-month climate outlook which predicts above-normal rainfall and temperatures in the North Island. "It's more of the same," confirmed senior climate scientist Dr Brett Mullan.

A moderate La Nina in the tropical Pacific, expected to persist into early autumn, has established lows to the north of the country and highs to the south.

The weather pattern means holidaymakers in the South Island will enjoy a summer with below-normal or normal rainfall and mostly above-average temperatures.

"It may be okay for the tourists, but the farmers and the Fire Service won't like it," Dr Mullan said.

The Niwa outlook is not a forecast and looks only at likely weather patterns over the three months as a whole.

That meant it was not necessarily all bad news for people in the North Island, Dr Mullan said.

"It's probably not the best if you're camping.

"And if you have to make plans ahead of time, then it's not so good, you don't have a choice.

"But if you have a choice, keep an eye on the weather forecast.

"It's not going to be three months of doom and gloom, there will be breaks in it."

The previous Niwa climate outlook released in December predicted near-normal rainfall in much of the North Island with normal or above-normal rainfall in the north.

Dr Mullan said the La Nina had "bedded-in" and intensified over December.

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