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Published: 2004-12-24 00:00:00

This summer is likely to be a bit wet and a bit windy around the Waikato.

Environment Waikato says predictions for the Christmas season are windy, and unsettled throughout the Christmas/New Year break. The Metservice predicts Friday’s cold southerlies will take a break on Christmas Day – the first decent anticyclone since mid November. Then it’s back to more rain on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile, Environment Waikato has double checked emergency arrangements for the summer break. Staff are on call for any events, from environmental incidents to bad weather, throughout the holiday season, and a pre-holiday briefing has been held for any emergency management.

Hazards Analyst Lamorna Cooper said the ground around the Region is very wet after constant rain this month so there is no room for soakage.

“That means any more rain will run straight off into rivers and streams, so it is important for people camping around waterways to take care. Rivers will rise very quickly in this weather.”

The country is in an El Nino weather pattern, which is keeping all the sub tropical highs further north and south westerly flows are predominating, especially in the southern part of the country. An El Nino system brings colder and wetter weather with temperatures about or below normal, less sunshine and rain with thundery episodes.

If you’re on holiday, watch the weather, listen to the radio and be flexible in your plans. Take an emergency kit if you are going camping or to the bach, with candles and torches, wet weather clothing and extra canned food if you are likely to be in an isolated spot.

Let people know where you’re going if you’re tramping, or heading out for a spot of fishing and make sure you have extra clothing and food, just in case.

You can find out the latest river and rainfall levels on Environment Waikato’s website, which updates regularly. The Council’s Flood Phone number, which provides latest river levels is 0832 25334 plus the mailbox number for your area.