Seasonal Climate Outlook

Air temperature, rainfall, soil moisture and river flow predictions for the coming season.

For background information on climate outlooks and their interpretation, see the documents below.

Forecasting climate (PDF 78 KB)

More on probabilities (PDF 12 KB)

For historical rainfall and temperature data ranges for several locations within each climate outlook region, see our baseline tables.

Baseline tables

Issues

Sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific intensified significantly around the international Dateline during March 2015 and are currently showing a pattern consistent with weak El Niño conditions.
Sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to reflect conditions between neutral and weak El Niño states during February 2015. Atmospheric patterns were mostly indicative of weak El Niño-like conditions.
Sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean are borderline between neutral and weak El Niño conditions.
Sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean remained steady during December 2014 at above conventional El Niño thresholds.
In November 2014, the equatorial Pacific Ocean warmed significantly, reaching El Niño levels towards the end of the month.
At the end of October 2014, atmospheric and oceanic indicators in the tropical Pacific Ocean were at borderline El Niño thresholds.
During September 2014, borderline El Niño conditions returned in the Pacific.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean remains ENSO-neutral at the end of August 2014.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean continues to remain ENSO-neutral at the end of July 2014, with atmospheric and oceanic conditions failing to sufficiently couple to initiate an El Niño event
While above normal sea surface temperatures across the Tropical Pacific Ocean have crossed El Niño thresholds in June 2014, most atmospheric indicators (e.g. sea level pressure, convection, trade winds) have remained at neutral levels, indicating that El Niño conditions have not yet become fully established.
During June–August 2014, mean sea level pressures are expected to be lower than normal to the northeast of New Zealand, and weak lower than normal pressures are expected over the country.
May–July temperatures are most likely (50% chance) to be average for the west of the South Island, above average (50% chance) for the east of the North Island, and average or above average (40-45%) for all remaining regions of New Zealand. Cold snaps and frosts can still be expected in some parts of the country as autumn advances into winter.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean continued in a neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña) in March 2014. International guidance indicates that ENSO-neutral conditions are the most likely outcome for the next three months (April – June 2014).
During March–May 2014, mean sea level pressures are expected to be lower than normal to the north of the country, with higher pressures than normal to the southeast of New Zealand.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean continued in a neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña) in January 2013.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean continued in a neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña) in December 2013.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean continues in a neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña) in November 2013.
The equatorial Pacific Ocean continues in a neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña).

Near or above average temperatures are expected to continue across the country for the coming three months.

After a very warm winter, the coming spring is likely to have near or above average temperatures across the country.
A warm early spring on the cards
Mild conditions likely to continue over late winter.
Mild early winter on the cards.

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