8 Jan 2009

Summer and autumn tipped to be warmer

9:31 pm on 8 January 2009

New Zealand faces a warmer-than-average late summer and early autumn.

The national climate centre, NIWA, issued its climate outlook on Thursday for the first three months of the year.

It says rainfall is likely to below normal in much of the South Island, while staying around normal in the North Island.

The Niwa Climate Centre leader, Dr Andrew Tait, says a moderate La Nina weather pattern is likely to bring more easterlies and north easterlies than normal.

There has been concern that parts of New Zealand could face a second year of drought. NIWA says soils are currently drier than normal in many eastern regions.