Forecast rain insufficient to lift drought status

MATT STEWART
Last updated 05:00 13/04/2013

Related Links

High-debt farms hardest hit by drought Fears drought's impact will linger on the Coast

Relevant offers

Farming

Flood-stricken Taranaki farmer says others are worse off Lower dairy prices put pressure on farm values Major El Nino threatens stormy spring, east coast summer drought John Kirwan tells farmers to keep life simple, fun Change of guard at Hauraki Plains' P3 Trust Rumour an Ashburton Bank puts receiver on notice is nonsense says Fed Farmers Prime Minister John Key calls world leaders in dairy push for TPP talks TPP talks stumbling on dairy hurdle Stu Chapman to step down from Elders Te Aroha pig farmer gets $65,000 court fine for dumping effluent

The drought gripping the North Island will not be lifted until May at the earliest, despite solid downpours forecast for next week.

A subtropical rainmaker, which meteorologists are describing as the biggest low of the year, is expected to land over the country from Monday bringing upwards of 20 millimetres of rain to parched pastures in Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa.

Urban Wellington, where an outdoor water use ban was lifted this week, can also expect wet days.

Drought is still officially declared across the North Island and north of the West Coast.

After several patchy offerings in the past week the incoming low looks set to provide the most widespread rain of the year.

WeatherWatch analyst Richard Green said the system had the potential to be the wettest so far for 2013. "But . . . if it rolls on through quickly it may not pack the same sort of punch as if it was to stay here for a couple of days."

The drought was still getting worse in some regions including Wairarapa and Wellington, where scattered rain over the past month had made little difference.

Niwa climate scientist Andrew Tait said that though the forecast rain would certainly provide "solid relief", another extended dry spell would quickly reverse any moisture gains.

Consistent rain every few days would be required to set up for winter.

Showers and southerlies are forecast this weekend but should clear by tomorrow ahead of the incoming low, which should hit overnight Monday.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it time for authorities to introduce tougher penalties for poaching?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: Booby traps for poachers cost farmers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Agri e-editions

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online