El Niño in 2015-2016

Strong underlying El Niño conditions are forecast to continue into early 2016. This increases the likelihood of more varied and extreme weather events around New Zealand. MPI and primary industry agencies are working together to provide the latest information, help, and advice to affected people around New Zealand.

December 2015 and January 2016 outlook

El Niño is an underlying climate pattern that can cause more extreme weather. Its impact is being felt in different ways across New Zealand:

  • cooler temperatures
  • more rain in the west
  • drier conditions in the north and east
  • stronger winds on the West Coast and in Canterbury.

The eastern South Island – particularly Canterbury and Otago – has been suffering drought since last summer, and El Niño may be contributing to these dry conditions extending through this summer.

Other parts of the country are showing signs of dryness, or conversely, may be more likely to experience storms or flooding.

What you can do

MPI and agencies are urging farmers and growers to:

  • stay informed, develop a plan and review as the season unfolds
  • set trigger dates or criteria for making constructive decisions
  • talk to trusted advisors and peers and ask for help if you need it
  • look after yourself, your family and your neighbours.

Stay in touch with MPI and agencies through this website to understand how this El Niño is unfolding in your region; and the probabilities of the most typical weather events.

Download the Preparing for El Niño factsheet [PDF, 538 KB]

Where to go for advice and information

Agencies are ready to help you with support and advice. Start with your Rural Support Trust:

Click on any of the following topics to reveal more information.

Last reviewed: | Has this been useful? Give us your feedback