Warmer, drier summer ahead - Niwa

By Abby Gillies

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

Sun-lovers should head to the Bay of Plenty or Hawkes Bay for the best weather this summer, but most of the country can also expect warmer, drier weather.

If you're looking for settled, hot weather, places like Coromandel or Gisborne where the weather is traditionally good over summer are safe bets, said Niwa climate scientist Georgina Griffiths.

And the news for the rest of the country is largely good.

Unlike the disappointingly cold, rainy conditions experienced by much of New Zealand last summer, this year will be "completely different", she said.

Niwa has released its seasonal outlook for the next three months and a lot of it is better than last year - for holidaymakers at least.

Normal to dry conditions are likely for the North Island and in Nelson-Marlborough, where it will be a dry start to the summer for those areas with rainfall expected to be lower than usual.

A combination La Nina and of easterly winds last year resulted in a very cloudy, wet summer for the North Island and Nelson-Marlborough, said Mrs Griffiths.

"This year we're forecasting more southwesterlies, so that's the reverse of last year. Were expecting dry in the northeast of the North Island.

"Everywhere else we're kind of expecting normal summer rainfall - it depends of where you live what that means," she said.

Western areas from Taranaki to Wellington and the west coast of the South Island and Southland can expect temperatures to be average of slightly below average overall.

Everywhere else temperatures will be average.

"For the bulk of the population I would say it's a much better forecast than the one we had last year."

But it wasn't good news for everyone.

An unusually dry November for many regions, including much of the North Island and Nelson-Marlborough, causing particularly dry soil, and the average rainfall forecast would only bring light relief to the areas, said Mrs Griffiths.

The east coast of the North Island, north of Taupo, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Nelson would have drier than normal soils for summer.

"If you're a holidaymaker, excellent, and if you're a farmer perhaps not so good in those regions."

"They'll get some rain over summer but as mentioned we're forecasting below normal rain for them."

And if you're looking for settled, warm weather over the summer, the traditional hotspots remain your best bet, said Mrs Griffiths.

"If you want settled, hot perhaps if you think about what's typical for the summer, it's always warmest in the northern North Island, so Coromandel or Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and parts of Canterbury are quite warm for summer."

"The dry forecast is really in the northern east so my bet would be on Coromandel, Bay or Plenty, or Gisborne, Hawkes Bay.

- APNZ

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