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La Nina to bring a wetter summer to NZ

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/11/2016

North Island residents should expect a wetter than average New Zealand summer with the arrival of a weak La Nina, weather analysts say.

The US-government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on Friday the La Nina system was expected to last until February.

As the flip side of El Nino, it occurs periodically as central Pacific Ocean waters cool and affect global weather patterns.

Analyst site WeatherWatch.co.nz said despite its cooling effect elsewhere in the Pacific, La Nina would instead slightly warm ocean temperatures near New Zealand.

This could bring cloudier weather in coastal areas, a high chance of afternoon showers, especially in inland regions, and a wetter than average summer for the North Island and some western and northern parts of the South Island.

La Nina powered easterly winds could also drive spillover rain from the west coast into drought affected Canterbury, WeatherWatch said.

But it said the effect was likely to be mild due to the weak nature of the La Nina.

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