It’s been a Summer that has broken many records and now Autumn is shaping up to the do the same. Philip Duncan, head weather analyst at the Radio Network says the North Island, now taking the brunt of the big dry, is in for even more dry weather, declaring that no significant rain will fall over the next several days and possibly the rest of the month.
Long range weather maps independently used by TRN’s Weather Watch Centre show high pressure firmly taking grip of the North Island, while frontal bands make some advancement over the South Island. “It’s not the news farmers want to hear but it’s important that we are up front with them. The rest of March is likely to be very dry”.
Duncan says long range forecasts by weather.com show a grim picture for the remainder of March. “One or two isolated showers are likely on Sunday and Monday for the Waikato but it will be insignificant as far as farmers are concerned. Rainfall confidence is only 40% and because it’s blowing in from the east, it’s not looking like its going to have much impact”.
“Looking back over rainfall figures in the Waikato is a painful experience – just a handful of days with rainfall so far this year and just one day of rain in all of January”.
Further south and the Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa regions looks even drier. “Just 30% confidence of one or two brief showers late on Saturday and during Sunday, with maybe one or two showers at the end of next week – again, nothing significant at this stage”.
Philip Duncan says despite the incredibly dry weather farmers need to remain optimistic. “I said it several weeks ago and although my confidence has been a little knocked I’ll say it again: We are in a La Nina weather pattern which usually produces good rainfalls across the country and I see no reason why April won’t see the production of more rain bearing depressions. We have been incredibly unlucky these past few months with a number of deep lows just missing New Zealand, out to the east – if they’d been a few hundred kilometres to the west we wouldn’t be in a drought at all, it’s simply bad luck”.
“We may even need to be prepared to go from one extreme to another – as La Nina could mean a wetter, warmer, winter for many”.