17 Apr 2012

Drier climate pattern may be on the way

10:45 am on 17 April 2012

La Nina weather patterns which have helped with excellent grass growth on New Zealand farms over the past year will end soon and may be followed by drier conditions, climate scientists say.

National Climate Centre principal scientist Brett Mullan says the tail end of the La Nina weather patterns will bring average-to-above-average rainfall and easterly winds to most regions during the next two months.

This year's La Nina system follows a similar one last year, but Dr Mullan says farmers may soon face drier conditions as an El Nino weather pattern develops.

NIWA says that, in New Zealand, an El Nino brings stronger or more frequent winds from the west during summer which can lead to drought, particularly along the East Coast.