Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Never mind the big wet... here comes the sun

Weather scientists are promising a better summer than last year so it's time to drag out the togs and check for moth holes. Photo / Doug Sherring
Weather scientists are promising a better summer than last year so it's time to drag out the togs and check for moth holes. Photo / Doug Sherring

It won't be a sizzler, but at least we'll see the sun this summer. Much of the country emerged from the record-breakingly bad 2011-12 Kiwi summer feeling shortchanged as grey skies blanketed most of New Zealand.

Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton and Wellington endured their cloudiest summer on record, and Nelson Bays its wettest, but that is unlikely to be repeated this summer, a climate scientist says.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research this month revealed the outlook for the three months to November 1. Mostly average temperatures and rainfall are expected around the country.

Cold snaps typical of early spring could also take place.

But also included in the outlook is the news that an El Nino climate pattern is expected to emerge during spring.

Niwa National Climate Centre principal scientist Brett Mullen said the centre was 75 to 80 per cent sure last year's La Nina pattern would not be repeated.

Instead, it will be an El Nino summer.

That was good news for those left feeling cheated after last summer's dreary offering, Mullen said.

The southwesterly winds more common during an El Nino summer brought with them more settled, drier weather.

"It is looking like a better summer than last year, especially in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.

"It could be quite nice."

But Wellingtonians were likely to suffer a more windy summer, while wind could also prove troublesome for farmers on the East Coast as the dry conditions combine with the wind to suck moisture out of the ground, he said.

The wind would also mean colder temperatures, except in the east as it was not really affected by the southwesterly winds.

- Herald on Sunday

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