7 Jan 2010

El Nino keeps cooler grip on New Zealand summer

9:00 pm on 7 January 2010

The weather forecast for the rest of summer looks likely to be a repeat of December - cooler windy conditions in most regions.

Climate scientist James Renwick from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) says the current El Nino conditions are well-entrenched.

The west of the country will continue to experience windy, slightly cooler and cloudy conditions, but there's no relief in sight for the rain-parched areas of Northland, Bay of Plenty and East Coast, with drier than normal weather forecast.

That's a concern, says Mr Renwick, because those areas are already very dry.

For holiday-makers anyway, he says, the best of summer is yet to come, with the hottest day usually recorded towards the end of January, and more settled weather in February and March.