Dry summer expected

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2013

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South Canterbury is in for a drier than normal summer in terms of river flow and soil moisture, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) says.

Niwa principal scientist Dr Brett Mullan said yesterday that the region was already experiencing lower than normal soil moisture levels for the start of December and was unlikely to catch up to average levels over the next three months.

River flow would also be below normal between December and February. Rainfall would probably be near normal, he said.

Niwa's seasonal outlook suggests a 45 per cent chance of temperatures being above average, while there is a 25 per cent chance of rainfall being above average across coastal Canterbury.

The report said soil moisture and river flow had an 80 per cent chance of being near or below average.

Temperatures over the December to February period are equally likely (40 per cent) to be near average or above average in the east of the South Island, while above average temperatures are likely (45 to 50 per cent) for the remaining regions in New Zealand.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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