[2 March/ Radio NZ]

The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said models predicted a more than 50 percent chance of a return to El Niño conditions between August to October. El Niño conditions typically include stronger, frequent western winds in summer that may typically lead to drought in east coast areas and increased rain in the west. Forecaster Chris Brandolino said stage one of an El Niño developing can be seen as sea temperatures had warmed off the South American coast.