Jack Smith, who is nearly 2, makes the most of the sun at Bethells Beach. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Fantastic weather, thirsty gardens
A warmer than usual autumn and an unusually mild start to winter are on the way for much of the country – but prepare to get the coats out as there will be some cold days.
Niwa National Climate Centre predictions for the next three months said above average temperatures were likely for the upper North Island as well as Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.
Inland Otago, Southland and the West Coast of the South Island are also expected to be warmer than usual, as La Nina sends a parting shot of warm, moist air our way.
The rest of the country is expected to get average or above average temperatures.
Overall, Niwa scientist Dr James Renwick said conditions were not too different from this time last year, when most of the North Island experienced a warmer than usual autumn and early winter.
Dr Renwick said that despite the likelihood of relatively warm days this year, the change of seasons combined with the psychological effect of shorter daylight hours meant people would soon begin to find the days noticeably colder.
This autumn was likely to bring normal or above normal rainfall to the upper North Island.
He said the chances of an ex-tropical cyclone passing the country closely enough to bring significant rain were about average for April and May, the last two months of the cyclone season.