Dry, cool summer forecast

Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012
weather, dry, summer
DAVID HALLETT/ Fairfax NZ
DRY: Niwa predictions for this December, January and February for Canterbury are for a slightly cooler average summer than usual but much dryer than last year.

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It will be case of dusting off the jandals this summer as the weather in the South Island is forecast to be better than last year's gumboot-wearing ordeal.

Wet, cloudy weather throughout most of the country over last year's holiday season saw drenched campers seek higher ground while the South Island's West Coast was the only region to enjoy a warm, dry summer.

Niwa predictions for this December, January and February for South Canterbury are for a slightly cooler average summer than usual but much dryer than last year.

The average temperature in the region calculated by totalling the three summer months is a usually 15.5 degrees Celsius while this year it is likely to be 15C.

Summer air temperatures will be near average or below average along western areas of New Zealand as well as the east of the South Island.

Sea surface temperatures throughout the country are 1C colder than normal and are expected to remain below normal .

Niwa climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said the eastern South Island would have fewer northwest winds than last year and in a reverse there will be more southwesters.

After "reasonably healthy rain" at the start of this month the soils in the region were drying out.

River flows are also expected to be below normal. Rainfall is expected to be average which Mrs Griffiths said would include the odd bad day.

"Timaru doesn't suffer with particularly wet summers anyway."

The choice for holidaymakers of whether to go to the Waitaki lakes boating or further south such as Wanaka or Queenstown was irrelevant as the weather would not be that much different, Mrs Griffiths said.

Coromandel, Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty along the east coast of the North Island are likely to be the best places to holiday this summer, she said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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