1 Dec 2023

Watch: Warm weather and strong winds as El Niño summer ahead

10:31 am on 1 December 2023

It's the first day of summer and according to NIWA, the El Niño weather cycle looks set to bring warm weather and high winds for the rest of the season.

Watch NIWA experts on what to expect from the season ahead:

The planet switches between two weather cycles- El Niño and La Niña - every few years.

During El Niño, New Zealand summers tend to have strong winds from the west, meaning eastern parts of the country dry out and western areas receive more rain.

The NIWA forecast shows El Niño is almost certain to persist through summer, and has an 85 percent chance of continuing through autumn.

The summer forecast is for more northwesterly winds than normal across the country, but rainfall is likely to be around average.

Spells of hot, humid conditions looked likely during December, however areas of heavy rain were possible in the North Island over the next week.

NIWA said an increased awareness around the risk for dry spells was recommended across several regions: Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough, Buller, Canterbury and Otago.

This might contribute to water restrictions, particularly in areas that had not had them in recent years.

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