Spring weather to warm the heart

By Mike Dinsdale

Northland is heading for a warm spring, with weather forecasters predicting the next three months to be warmer than normal.

Niwa has released its climate forecast for August to October and says temperatures as a whole should be above average in the North Island, while rainfall is expected to be near or above average.

However, Northlanders shouldn't break out the summer clothing yet, with a warning there could be the odd cold snap and possible frosts in places over the next month or so.

Niwa climate scientist Brett Mullan said sea surface temperatures for the next three months were also forecast to be above average along the east coast.

"[In Northland] temperatures for the August-October period as a whole are very likely to be above average," Dr Mullan said.

"Rainfall totals, soil moisture levels and river flows during this period are all likely to be in their near normal or above normal ranges."

The Pacific Ocean remained in a neutral state, with neither the El Nino nor La Nina weather pattern dominating, despite some patterns reminiscent of a weak La Nina.

In their forecasting, Niwa's climate scientists take into account observations of atmospheric and ocean conditions and output from global and local climate models.

The presence of El Nino or La Nina conditions and sea surface temperatures can be a useful indicator of likely overall climate conditions for a season.

In Northland for the next three months Niwa says there's a 60 per cent chance temperatures will be above average, 30 per cent possibility of near average and 10 per cent chance of below average.

- Northern Advocate

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