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Published: 2002-12-19 00:00:00

We’re in for a windy but a typically warm summer this year, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

NIWA’s outlook for December to February is a moderate El Nino, which means stronger than normal westerlies or southwesterlies, and near average temperatures in the north and east of the North Island and below normal or normal rainfall in most places. This El Nino event is weaker than the 1997-98 summer, which brought drought to many areas.

We’re also expecting enhanced cyclonic activity across the south of New Zealand, but there’s only a slight risk that a tropical cyclone will affect the country this summer. The risk is usually greatest in late summer/early autumn.

Down south they’re likely to have below average temperatures, and normal to above normal rainfall in the west and south of the South Island.

Meanwhile, Environment Waikato is double checking its emergency arrangements for the summer break. Staff are on call for any events, including environmental incidents, throughout the holiday season, and have established contacts with local authorities in case of any emergencies.

Holiday makers are encouraged to watch the weather, listen to the radio and be flexible in their plans. Take an emergency kit if you are going camping or to the bach, with candles and torches, wet weather clothing, and extra canned food if you are likely to be in an isolated spot. Let people know where you’re going if you’re tramping.