El Niño is upon us and a warmer than normal autumn is on the cards for Hawke's Bay.

Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll says, because of El Niño, there is a 60 per cent chance of temperatures being above average through autumn in Hawke's Bay and 35 to 40 per cent chance of below average rainfall.

"Rain may be on the cards for the next couple of days, but it is less likely to continue like
that for the autumn season."

Hawke's Bay Regional Council's air quality scientist Dr Kathleen Kozyniak said while most of the region saw near normal rainfall totals for February, the headwaters of the larger rivers weren't as lucky.

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"Rain tended to bypass the main ranges."

Because of El Niño, HBRC senior groundwater scientist Simon Harper says groundwater levels are expected to start rising in the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha Plains.

"In February, groundwater levels continued their normal seasonal decline, but in most wells levels have stayed normal to above normal.

"Our tele metered wells indicate the greatest rate of decline was in February in the Ruataniwha Plains. We can expect groundwater levels in both the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha Plains to begin rising in the next couple of months."