31 Jan 2010

NIWA puts details from climate stations online

9:32 am on 31 January 2010

Detailed readings from each of the country's seven climate stations are soon to be posted online by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

The move comes after some criticism of international climate science in recent weeks, including flaws being uncovered in a report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The panel has apologised for an incorrect prediction that the Himalayan glaciers may disappear by 2035 because of global warming.

NIWA's principal climate scientist, Dr James Renwick, says while New Zealand's full climate database is already available online, records from individual climate stations will also soon become available.

He says it's a good idea to make the data public in the interests of clarity, openness and public confidence in the science.

Cool, dry end to summer forecast

NIWA is predicting a cool end to summer for most regions, but says there won't be enough rain to help farmers in the parched north and east of the country.

NIWA's February to April seasonal outlook suggests El Nino conditions are set to continue until autumn.

Dr Renwick says this means temperatures will stay on the cool side, and the north and east of the country down to North Canterbury will get less rain than usual.

For a short period, between now and the early part of February, the east coast of the North Island will get some rain.

During the same period, southern parts of the country are set to get a taste of real summer temperatures.

However strong westerlies will be back by the end of February.