VIDEO: Mixture of pattern & chaos in December head forecaster Philip Duncan drills down on what the weather is expected to be like for December.

El Nino peaks in December and January, just in time for the hottest part of summer.

WeahterWatch's final ClimateWatch for 2023 focuses on pattern and chaos.

"We can see more high pressure belts and drier areas setting in…but the chaos factor (mostly fuelled by warmer than average air and sea temperatures in many places away from NZ) means we have more chances of rain than we usually would in an El Nino Summer," says the weather organisation.

For most this is a positive.

"Long range data isn’t perfect at all – but the data we use is the most accurate on earth. It’s helpful at painting a general big picture of highs and lows and where they are trending and what that means for rainfall and temperatures.

"For NZ we’re small in the big scheme of things – we can always buck the international trend. But our latest data backs up what we saw earlier this year – that spring would be more spring-like and Summer has higher chances of drying out for the eastern and inland parts of NZ, in particular the North Island and upper South Island."

For the most part, NZ leans drier in the North Island once we get to January, says WeatherWatch, but December may still see a few rainmakers into the wet east (southerlies do that, so too do easterlies).

"Generally speaking it’s a positive forecast for NZ’s growers and farmers…but worth noting the main concern for dry weather looks to be building over the next 3 months around the North Island and upper South Island.  

"We’ll continue to monitor this and if anything big changes in December we’ll let you know with a news story and big headline. We’re about giving you the best data we have at the time – but we’re not magic and can’t lock in 2024’s weather.

"We provide these long range forecasts out of demand, rather than us having the silver bullet answer. So we use the most accurate forecast data on earth plus then put our finger on the pulse of local weather patterns (chaos factor) and try to build that Big Picture for you from that.

"Have a great start to summer – our next ClimateWatch Video will be in eight weeks time (Jan 31/Feb 1) and our news content doesn’t stop over summer on both our websites."

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