Back in November we said the summer would be a scorcher. After a delightful December and a hot and dry January longrange forecasting appears stable and reliable. So what may be coming for NZ?

February sees more unusually warm days, at or near the 2nd, 5th, 9th-11th, 15th-17th and 21st-27th. The first week of March climbs past 25°C for some, and warm again around 20th. Even during the first 10 days of April temperatures may be often over 25°C which will prompt remarks about an Indian summer.

The cyclone season should be continue to be light and late as predicted, with a number of threats that turn to fizzers. In the first week of January a then-forming cyclone looked like it might slam full-force into the North Island. In the end it drifted harmlessly into the Southeast Pacific as a tropical low and that exemplifies this season.

Remnants of the next one may bring rain for Waitangi Day. Around mid March a system may brush the north of NZ but with minimal impact and another system threatens in the last week of March. With El Nino absent cyclones lose strength.

In February, low pressure systems bring odd showers around the 1st and 6th-8th, which may be the worst weather of the month and possibly for the whole season. Rain is also likely around 11th-17th. Fronts pass through 19th-21st but the rest of the month should stay mostly dry except for far north showers. March sees rain 3rd-8th, 11th-14th and 20th-31st.

Wellington and Christchurch have a mainly dry second half of February. For Dunedin the last 10 days of February may be fine and dry. The far south may get up past 25°C in the second week of February, but with few rain days between now and the second week in March.

For the country autumn and early winter may be warm and wet, mid winter cold and wet, late winter cold and dry, and spring cool and wet. Early summer may be wet with average temperatures. Apart from May and November drier than average the southern hydrolakes have healthy levels. Sunshine levels won’t vary much from average except for a cloudier October.

Here is a brief summary of what to expect in coming months:

February: Sunny and mild.
Rain in the first week breaks the dry spell. Around 8th there are chances of heavy rains and floods for the North Island and the West Coast of the South Island. It should be hot and dry in the South Island in the last week.
March: Wet with heavy rains and floods.
The first week may be unsettled for the top of the South Island and for Canterbury, with chances of floods in Blenheim. The second week is the driest week of the month for the South Island. Around 20th expect much rain in both islands.
April: Warm and wet.
Overall for the country it may be wetter than average, with torrential rain for two weeks after 8th in the North Island. Around 28th heavy falls and flooding may affect Bay of Plenty, unsettled also for the top of the South Island and SI West Coast. In the second half of April, possible floods for Coromandel and Wellington and wet at top of the South Island.
May: Sunny and mild.
In the first week there may be the chances of flood in Taranaki. Mid May begins four warm weeks for NZ. In the second half of the month, it goes dry for Canterbury. Around the 26th expect heavy falls and floods in the Central Plateau, Taranaki, SI West Coast and Southland.
June: Stormy.
June, a wet month for NZ, and in the second week snow arrives in both islands but not cold enough to establish a base. Around 23rd expect heavy rains Auckland southwards. It may also be unsettled for the top of the South Island, for Christchurch and S Canterbury, with some possible ensuing flooding.
July: Cold and snowy.
Much widespread snow and rain is expected. Around 22nd heavy rains and flooding are likely from Northland to Central Plateau, also on the SI West Coast and the top of the South Island.
August: Cold but average precipitation.
The first 10 days is fairly average for both islands, but in the second or third week expect heavy rain and snow. Canterbury and S Canterbury have significant rain 12th-15th followed by possible flooding around 19th. Heavy falls flood North Island places except for Gis/HB and the South Island may be very wet for the West Coast and Nelson.
September: Wet South Island but dry top half of North Island
Much precipitation and snow is likely mid-month in both islands. Around 16th big rainfalls and flood potential may cross the North Island except Gis/HB, and the South Island West Coast, the top regions, Canterbury, S Canterbury and coastal Otago. Best time for skiing is around 21st.
October: Cloudy and wet.
In the second week of the month, heavy falls most North Island districts. Significant downpours affect most of South Island 4th-9th. October is chilly, wintry, cloudy and wet for all.
November: Sunny but cool
From 6th-10th , heavy rainfalls likely for South Island, possible flood date 10th . Wetter than average in Auckland and Manawatu, around the top of the South Island and inland Otago.
December: dry for North Island and Canterbury in second and third weeks
Starts wet, then around 4th, potential for heavy rain with associated flooding for most of North Island, also South Island West Coast, top regions and S Canterbury to Southland. Hot and dry in second and third weeks, rain and floods just before Christmas in South Island and over Xmas in North Island. Christmas Day wet north of Taupo and dry south of Taupo, including most of South island.

Ken Ring of is the author of the Weather Almanac for NZ for 2013 (Random House publisher)

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