Dry, moderate summer predicted for region

By Don Farmer don.farmer@age.co.nz


As spring tails off with unusually hot weather, predictions for summer indicate the district can expect a dry summer with average temperatures.

Latest predictions from Niwa scientists are for Wairarapa to enjoy temperatures around "near average" but, at the same time, are warning there could be less rain than usual, meaning soils could be drier and river flows lower than normal.

Some Wairarapa rivers, and especially those in the Tararua district, are showing signs of lower flows already with the Mangatainoka River, in particular, flowing at a low rate.

Niwa has determined that New Zealand's summer does not seem likely to be influenced by El Nino or La Nina, instead being classified as "neutral".

The good news is the risk of a tropical cyclone approaching from November to April is unlikely to be greater than usual.

On average, one "ex tropical cyclone" nears in summer.

Sea surface temperatures around the New Zealand coast are about a degree colder than normal in late spring. They are expected to remain lower for the duration of summer.

Farmers throughout Wairarapa have reported a rapid falling off of soil moisture levels in the past few weeks.

This has impacted quite quickly on grass growth, which had been slow to get away after winter but picked up as spring progressed.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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