Region in 'recovery mode'

06:36, Apr 08 2013
Andy Fraser
Andy Fraser of 45S Weather Services checks a rain gauge this morning.

Southlanders are celebrating the return of the rain, but farmers in the region are hoping for a few more showers to replenish dry soil.

45S weather services manager Andy Fraser said the region was now in ''recovery mode'' after the dry start to autumn.

Only 1.1mm of rain was recorded last night, but in the first week of April Invercargill had more than half the total rainfall of March, Mr Fraser said.

''So far this month we've had 19mm. That's compared to the entirety of the previous month when we had only 32mm.''

It would take a few weeks for groundwater reserves and grass growth to return to normal levels, but the big dry was definitely over, he said.

Federated Farmers Southland president Russell MacPherson said while the rain had helped refresh the region, most places would need a little extra to keep pastures green.

''I think probably most people are really looking for quite a good dollop still, especially in Northern and Western Southland.''

Stock farmers would be hoping for a moist, warm end to autumn, with few heavy frosts, to return soil to normal moisture levels, he said.

Metservice predicts more rain will hit Invercargill, Gore and rural Southland tomorrow, with showers continuing across the province on Thursday.


The Southland Times