The talk around the nation's water coolers is that it is colder and wetter than usual this summer.

But the grumblings don't stack up with the stats.

Niwa figures for December 28 to January 5 show temperatures around the North Island have been pretty much the same as they have been for the past few years - and there has been a lot less rain than last summer's big wet.

In Auckland, average temperatures this week have averaged 18.6C, not that much cooler than last year's average temperatures of 20.1C, and 19.8C two years ago.


But New Zealand's biggest city has been significantly drier than this time last year, when an average of 40.2mm of rainfall was recorded compared with just 3mm this week.

It is the same pattern for much of the north of the North Island, said Niwa's principal scientist of forecasting, Chris Brandolino.

"It is too early to decide yet if it is going to be an awful or a good summer," he said. "Most of the North Island has been doing pretty well compared with the previous two years.

"Kerikeri and the Coromandel had serious flooding last year with some massive rainfall recorded but Kerikeri has recorded zero rainfall this week and temperatures are around 20C, which is a bit better than average.

"There are enhanced fire-risk warnings in place already for some of the North Island, so the weather certainly isn't too bad. People seem to have short memories when it comes to the weather."

The exception is the South Island, where temperatures are cooler this year. This week, Dunedin recorded an average temperature of 12.6C, compared with 17.8C two years ago.

"The South Island has not fared as well so far because southwesterly winds have been cooling things. But it is expected to warm up right across the country next week, and the good spell could last for at least 10 days."