[3 November/NZ Farmer]

NIWA are forecasting an 88% chance of New Zealand experiencing warm El Nino conditions over the summer period according to Principal Forecasting Scientist, Chris Brandolino. He said while it was not set in stone it is looking increasingly likely, adding the country and in particular the North Island, will need to brace for a windy November. He said while the West Coast may get quite wet, a cool and wet next three months for the whole country was looking unlikely. Conditions so far this spring have been good for many farmers and Federated Farmers Vice President, Andrew Hoggard, said the outlook for the weather is very much business as usual, noting there is always a possibility of drought and cyclones and each year there is a need to react to whatever the weather throws at you. He added that farmers need to prepare for the summer weather based on the law of averages.