Hawke's Bay's predicted summer El Niño will not eventuate, and instead it is set to be a wetter than normal summer, scientists say.
According to a climate briefing for the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, higher than average rainfall has helped bring groundwater levels on the Heretaunga Plains and Ruataniwha Plains back to normal, after they dropped well below average in October.
HBRC's air quality scientist Dr Kathleen Kozyniak said the predicted El Niño had not eventuated.
"The sea surface around New Zealand is warm so that is having the most influence on our weather, and the easterly and northeasterly winds we've had in recent months have been warmer coming off the sea."
She said Niwa was expecting rainfall to be up until April, coupled with above average temperatures.
"There is a chance of tropical cyclones moving down and affecting the east coast."
Groundwater levels in the Heretaunga Plains and Ruataniwha Plans aquifers too have been comparatively high since November.
River flows across the region have been mostly above normal or in the near normal range. The Niwa climate outlook forecasts river flows to be near normal through to April.
December also saw the lowest water use, for industry, irrigation and domestic supply, across Hawke's Bay since 2012.
HBRC science manager Stephen Swabey said it was a positive place to be in.
"It's an unusually positive position for the region to be in, and growers and processors have had some relief this summer from normal stressful climate conditions."