End of the Indian summer

Last updated 14:51 02/04/2014

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Wellington's Indian summer is about to come to an end as a business-as-usual autumn beds in over the next three months.

Niwa's latest climate outlook forecasts temperatures are likely to hover round average in the east of the country and near average in the north and west between now and June.

''In Wellington it's been a pleasant sort of Indian summer so far, with temperatures up and rainfall down,'' Niwa principal scientist Brett Mullan said.  

But the mercury would begin to drop by about 2 degrees Celsius in the next three months.

Mullan said the outlook for autumn was ''pretty flat'' with rain, temperature, soil moisture and river flows all expected to be at normal or near normal levels for the season around the lower North Island.

Cold snaps and frosts could be expected in many parts of the country as autumn settled in, he said.

Last month ex-tropical Cyclone Lusi brought intense rain and wind gusts to parts of the country.

The tropical cyclone season finishes at the end of April and the risk of on gathering near New Zealand is expected to be close to normal.

Ex-tropical cyclones come within 550km of New Zealand nine out of every 10 years.

The outlook also noted that at the end of March 2014 soil moisture was well below normal across western areas of Northland, the Waikato, inland Wanganui-Manawatu and eastern the Bay of Plenty.

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- The Dominion Post

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