New Zealand is facing a cold spring and dry summer as strong El Niño weather patterns persist, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
The institute's latest climate outlook said there were signs this year's event could be one of the four strongest ever recorded.
The report said the phenomenon, which increases the chance of drought in the east, heavy rainfall in the west and cooler weather, was extremely likely to continue into early 2016.
It said there was an increased risk of drought this summer in the north and east of the North Island, and the east of the South Island.
Cold weather and low rainfall are also expected for parts of the country during spring.