Outlook: Mild start to winter

STACEY OLIVER
Last updated 15:43 02/05/2012
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LEILANI HATCH/Fairfax NZ
SUNSET: The view from Camerons Line of the sun setting.

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Warmer temperatures are expected to be the "flavour of the season'' throughout Manawatu between May and July, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research says.

Climate scientist  Brett Mullan said higher pressure would dominate this season in the east of the South Island, while  there would be a north-easterly flow over the North Island. 

"For Manawatu, because the air is coming more often from the north than from the south, the temperatures are going to be near average or above average, which would make it a little bit warmer,'' Dr Mullan said.

"It won't be like that all of the time of course, but that's the dominant one that will keep recurring as it has for the last few months.''

In terms of rainfall, Dr Mullan said Manawatu levels would be near normal. But the rivers would remain low, resting at normal or below normal.

"It's been fairly dry there of late and the source have started to dry out - it's one of the parts of New Zealand that's more noticeable for the drier soil conditions. And even if the rainfall is normal, it will take a little bit in terms of river flows.''

The temperature and rainfall levels would be determined by the higher pressure, which means New Zealand would see "more northerly''.

"That means warmer. And we get a little bit of shelter in Manawatu from the rest of the North Island.''

However, despite the overall pattern of near or above average temperatures, frosts typical during winter will occur from time to time, he said. 

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- Manawatu Standard

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