A drier December for those most needing rain

December 2, 2015

After a very dry November for the north and east of the South Island, the forecast for December is not looking promising for those needing significant rain. “It was the driest November on record for Blenheim, with only 4.8mm observed at the airport in records going back 73 years,” said MetService Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths. “And the long-range forecast is not helpful for those needing rain, with below normal December rainfall predicted for those very dry areas in the north and east of the South Island.”

Below normal December rainfall is also expected across most of the North Island. The exception is from New Plymouth to Wellington, where closer to normal December totals are forecast. In contrast, December is predicted to be wetter than usual along the West Coast of the South Island, with near normal December rainfall likely for Southland.

The forecast December rainfall pattern is fairly typical of El Nino summers. Over the last few months, the 2015 El Nino has been comparable to the 1997/98 and the 1982/83 events, but may well be approaching its peak.”We should see this El Nino start to weaken in the first quarter of 2016,and transition to neutral status by winter,” commented Griffiths.

December has already started very warm, especially in eastern regions.”But the weather is set to turn unusually cold for the time of the year as we move through the weekend and into next week,” said Griffiths. For the second half of the month, things are expected to remain a touch cooler over the southern South Island, but temperatures should return to near average for the rest of the country.

The latest Rural Outlook can be found at www.metservice.com/rural/monthly-outlook. You can keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook, @metservice on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com

For further information please contact:
Georgina Griffiths +64 277 024622

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