It doesn’t take an expert to know that torrential downpours really put a dampener on one’s summer plans.
Backyard BBQs, ocean swims, lazy beach days and camping trips are all miserable (if not impossible) when the heavens open and you’re hit with rain, wind and heavy clouds.
It does take an expert, however, to forecast what kind of weather we can expect this coming summer. According to professional forecasters, New Zealand can expect its first El Niño summer since 2016, which could be the most intense in 80 years.
What does this mean for the non-meteorologists amongst us? Those who simply want to know whether it will be a wet summer, or a hot one (or both)?
Simply put, many of Aotearoa’s hottest temperatures on record, like Rangiora’s 42.2C moment in 1973, happened during El Niño.
This year, Kiwis can expect a dry and warm Christmas, Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll told the Herald.
“In the lead up to Christmas, and potentially even the holiday period itself, long-range modelling is pointing to an increased chance of drier than normal conditions across many regions, which is good news for holidaymakers and beachgoers,” Noll said.
Temperatures are likely to be higher than average in the east of the North and South islands and the top of the North Island. The rest of the country will have near-or-above-average.
All of this is estimated to peak in late January, according to Noll and the chances of El Niño’s favourable weather dragging through to June is at 60 per cent.
While “it’s unlikely to be a cool summer” Noll said there could be some cold spells that bring a bit of relief to the hot days.
With this in mind, it’s worth checking out New Zealand’s best ice cream shops, beaches, campgrounds and beach walks (as voted by Kiwis last year), remind yourself what beaches are safe to swim in, and brushing up on red flags to avoid when booking a summer bach.