Drought: No more sunshine, please

Last updated 14:30 07/03/2013
Fairfax NZ
DRYING UP: Folker Liebenow has recorded 173 mm of rainfall in his area over the past six months.
Penny McIntyre Zoom
Paddocks at Westport's Carters Beach area - normally lush and green.

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When my late wife and I bought the little family farm in Hawke's Bay's Raukawa district, I inherited a good amount of records of daily maximum and minimum temperatures as well as rainfall. Unfortunately there is a gap, but I have kept the records up since moving here in 1995.

Our driest year was 1996, when we recorded just 500 mm of rain for the year, when the long term total for this area is around 960mm. There have been dry years and wet years, and what has varied more than anything is the number of days in any one year on which rain is recorded, from about 70 days up to about 120 days.

My records show that for the six months from September 1, 2012 to the present, just 173 mm of rain were recorded here.

This is truly serious and there seems to be little chance of rain any time soon.

I can only be glad that my family and I are fortunate enough to have a permanent stream at the bottom of our property to pump stockwater for distribution over the entire farm, as well as a small permanent spring which is more than sufficient for all domestic/garden needs.

May the weather gods smile on us - no, not more sunshine, please.

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