Weather experts at insurer AMI are predicting higher than usual flood risk in the North Island and increased wildfire risk in the South this summer.
The warning comes as New Zealand rounds off one of the busiest years on record for severe weather events.
They included destructive wildfires at Lake Ōhau and flooding in Auckland, Westport, Canterbury and Napier.
AMI principal meteorological specialist Dr Bruce Buckley says that New Zealand’s wild weather run is far from over.
“We’re already seeing considerable anomalies in Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures, which are the driving force behind New Zealand’s weather patterns,” he says.
“In some places, sea temperatures are already around three degrees higher than usual, which strongly suggests summer weather conditions are going to be far from normal.”
It is predicted that warmer waters will make it easier for tropical lows to sweep southward and affect New Zealand, exposing northern parts of the North Island to increased flash and river flood risk through summer, especially in 2022.