Warmer winter but El Nino 'is brewing'

Warm winter but expect a cool spring

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 07/06/2014
 Casey Rebstock and her wee mate Bridget Kern,

WARM AS TOAST: Casey Rebstock and her wee mate Bridget Kern, 9 months, enjoyed a chat by the fire before lunch at New Plymouth bar and restaurant The Good Home yesterday.

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Taranaki's winter is looking like it will be warmer than usual this year but the bad news is spring might be cooler.

Niwa's latest seasonal climate report for June to August shows higher than average winter temperatures for Taranaki, forecaster Chris Brandolino said.

"But that doesn't mean there won't be cold snaps."

Sea surface temperatures over the next three months are expected to be near average off the west coast and soil moisture levels and river flows would likely be normal in Taranaki.

International guidance indicated the El Nino system was now the most likely outcome for the next three months, though it was still too early to estimate the strength of the event, which would probably arrive between late winter and early spring, Brandolino said.

"It's brewing - we're just not sure what flavour it will be."

If El Nino does develop there may be a bit more rain than normal for the west coast of both islands and cooler temperatures, but that won't be until the end of winter, beginning of spring, he said.

The last El Nino landed in the summer and spring of 2009-10 and the system, which usually peaks in December, typically creates cooler more unsettled weather on the west coast and drier, warmer conditions on the east.

Brandolino said winter temperatures were most likely to be above average in the North Island, and equally likely to be above average or average in the South Island.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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