Ready or not, an El Niño has a high of chance of arriving, says Federated Farmers.

Environment spokesman Chris Allen said that while we are not Australia, living in the midst of drought and the accompanying dust storms, now was a good time to take stock of what farmers have in regards to water storage and animal feed.

Farmers throughout New Zealand were in the midst of preparing for summer and this far out it was still difficult to pin-point what exactly would be happening on our weather fronts.

"For many of you this is not your first rodeo, so your preparation is hopefully under way, but there is nothing harmful in a gentle reminder to be urged to be aware of your circumstances," Allen said.


"Given the notice of the weather forecasts and rumblings about unsettled weather, being well prepared is always better than being under prepared. Being over-prepared can come at a cost, but being under-prepared can come at a much higher expense."

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

At the end of the day it came down to planning ahead and doing what you do well, said Allen.

A NIWA spokesman said: "NIWA's latest three-month climate outlook calls for about equal chances for below normal or near normal rainfall for all regions of New Zealand, except for the west of the South Island, where near normal rainfall is most likely."

When it came to preparation, farmers might be looking to deal with frequent high pressure systems around and over the country during November into December, bringing long dry spells as well as El Niño conditions (88 per cent chance), which may enhance the westerly air flow across the country at times during the season, drying out eastern areas.

"If El Niño does form, it is expected to be of a 'non-traditional type' called El Niño Modoki.

"This non-conventional El Niño may allow for a bit more variability in weather patterns through the coming season — early last summer we had very persistent patterns."

The spokeman said what he knew so far about what was coming over summer for New Zealand was conditions were most likely to lean on the warmer and drier side of the spectrum, but there was likely to be a bit more variety than last summer.


He said while no region was in meteorological drought yet, there were a handful of regions that NIWA was monitoring closely for the summer season for unusual dryness.

"These include: the lower/western South Island, Gisborne/East Cape, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel/Waikato, Auckland, and Northland."

MetService local meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said when forecasting in the longer-range, it paid to "zoom out".

The Southern Ocean was currently driving a prevalence of highs in the New Zealand region.

"We saw that during September and October."

"Looking ahead, the MetService prediction is that highs return to our weather maps next week, and are frequently seen across the second half of November, too. It is the persistence of highs over the country that has kept things relatively dry, for many regions, over the last two months. This weeks' front is the first decent rain maker in a while."

Georgina said that when it comes to the upcoming summer, December to February, two opposing weather drivers may well be in play.

She said MetService monitored both the tropics (El Niño) and the Southern Ocean. This was critical, given that New Zealand lay half way between the tropics and the pole, and these two drivers both contributed strongly to our weather patterns.

"If El Niño forms for summer, and this is not yet a certainty, then it looks likely that we see two opposing weather patterns battle it out.

"Farmers in New Zealand should not expect to see a typical El Niño summer. This is because the Southern Ocean is forecast to act strongly in the opposing direction to any El Niño during the summer period."