Queenstown should miss many of the extremes of this year’s El Nino weather system, retired climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger says.

The Queenstown-based former lead author for the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change — which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 — says Whakatipu will likely miss many of the higher temperatures, but get higher than average rainfall and stronger than average winds.

There was only a slight likelihood the area could see more of the flooding that battered the township last month, Salinger says.

This El Nino system could be comparable to the 1982-83 El Nino, which brought a host of fires and droughts to the North Island.

The weather should be more changeable across the country than during the past two summers, when the La Nina system prevailed, he says.

While Whakatipu is unlikely to have the extremes seen elsewhere in the country in the past few years, it’s important to keep things in perspective.

The temperatures might not be as high, but they’re still going to be higher than they were here 50 to 100 years ago, he says.

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