A new climate summary has tipped a balmy first half of the summer season, with near or above average temperatures for most of New Zealand between now and January.
Niwa National Climate Centre's latest seasonal climate outlook, issued this afternoon, described temperatures to stay stable in all regions except for the west of the North Island and east of the South Island, where near average temperatures are the most likely outcome.
It put the chances of below normal temperatures across all regions at just 20 per cent.
Rainfall totals over the period were meanwhile most likely to be near normal in all regions except for the north and east of the North Island, where rainfall was equally likely to be near normal or above normal.
Soil moisture levels and river flows were most likely to be below normal in the north of the North Island, and most likely to be above normal in the east of the North Island, and likely to be near normal for all remaining regions.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean continues in a neutral state - producing neither El Niño nor La Niña patterns - and recent cooler-than-normal sea-surface conditions in the eastern tropical Pacific had disappeared, according to the summary.
Neutral conditions were the most likely outcome for the next three months, and these were likely to persist into autumn 2014.
Over the New Zealand region, lower pressures than normal were forecast in the Tasman Sea and across the North Island, while higher pressures than normal were expected to the south of the country.
This circulation pattern was expected to produce disturbed northerly quarter flows over the north of the country, and slightly enhanced easterly flows over the South Island.
Sea surface temperatures were expected to remain near average overall for the coming three months around New Zealand, except for above average temperatures east of the North Island.