More rain coming, but not enough

GERALD PIDDOCK
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014

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The patchy rain that has hit Waikato over the past few days has been welcomed by farmers, but is not enough to be considered a drought-breaker.

That weather pattern was likely to continue into next week, MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said.

The forecast over the next five to 10 days was "loaded with raindrops", that could see a further 20-40mm of rainfall, Corbett said.

This is because an "impressive" band of rain sitting from Coromandel across the Waikato was to move east.

Another system was also forecast to move onto the country tomorrow through to Tuesday that would also bring rain to the region. This rain had good, moist north-westerly winds that should push it over central Waikato.

Corbett said Hamilton Airport had received 57mm of rain over the past four days.

The mild temperatures would also mean any rain would ensure good pasture growth, helping farmers.

Waikato-Hauraki-Coromandel Rural Support Trust chairman Neil Bateup said the latest rain to hit the region was not a drought-breaker because it had been so sporadic.

"I have just been talking to some people who have had 4mm over the last two days, someone else had 5mm and further north, some hadn't got any and others have had close to 20mm."

Bateup had received 17mm over the past two days on his farm north of Hamilton. "Seventeen is not a drought-breaker. It turns things a bit green but doesn't grow much grass."

He remained skeptical of forecasts promising rain after Cyclone Lusi failed to be the drought-breaker that many had predicted.

"There's that nervousness now among farmers about promised rain and it hasn't actually come to anything."

Waikato farmers need 50-75mm over a week, followed up by 20-30mm of rain to truly break the drought.

Their immediate concern was to ensure livestock were in good condition going into the new season by making sure they had adequate feed.

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- Waikato Times

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