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Big dry- How dry is your part of NZ?

So where is the driest, dustiest and downright drought like place in the country?

It’s a tough one to answer and we think we need your help.

In terms of figures central and eastern parts of the North Island are just crying out for water and have had the least amount of rain over the last eight weeks but other parts of the country may have had a little more however intense heat has seen more moisture evaporate.

We’d like to know how your part of the country is faring and just how dry are your surroundings? Do the lawns just turn into dust bowl when you try to mow them? Does the grass crunch under your feet as you walk on it?
Are you watering at all or trying not to waste much? Is there a fire risk or ban near your place and do you keep an eye out for potential problems?

If you have a rain gauge or a weather station how much rain have you recorded in recent times? How does the big dry compare to previous dry spells? 

Much of the country is thirsty and we are scratching our heads a little when there was such a large chunk that was so parched.

1997/98 was a strong El Niño season and parts of the nation was very dry however some western and southern districts were rather wet.

Pockets of the 80’s decade also saw very dry conditions from time to time but usually more localised than a large area.

How bad is it at your place? We’d like to get your thoughts. 


Grace on 27/02/2013 11:44pm

Had no rain since late December. Have come close to running out of water twice even though we are very conservative in it’s use, so had two half tanker deliveries for the tank. No grass, gardens are mostly dead, all pastures are bone dry, streams are running at their lowest we have ever seen. Fire risk is currently our biggest concern everyday as we are up in the hills and have only one way out through bushlands. Wish the fire risk & total ban was advertised ALOT more, even rural people are still not getting the message about it.

WW Forecast Team on 28/02/2013 3:37pm

Hi Grace

It’s unfortunate when people just don’t seem to get the message or aren’t aware of it at all.

Sounds extremely dry and a drought could be declared very soon(hopefully).

Thanks for getting in touch and hopefully some rain in a week or so.





Greg on 27/02/2013 9:43pm

Has been a classic summer here in Chch – we have had a couple of decent rain events, but consistently high temperatures in January meant the fire risk has remained high.
February has been noticeably cooler than January, but seems drier too with predicted high 20’s ending up low 20’s with either NE or (lately) SW breezes keeping a lid on the temps
Have had to mulch and water the garden way more than last year thats for sure !

WW Forecast Team on 28/02/2013 3:34pm

Thanks Greg

The good news is that there haven’t been water restrictions and you’re right Feb has been cooler with temperatures not taking off as much

Thanks for the info



Josh on 27/02/2013 6:00pm

Had around 25mm in the last 40 days here, however all of that was over a few hours over night a few weeks ago. I know having a lot of sun is normal here in Nelson, but we do need some rain.

WW Forecast Team on 28/02/2013 3:35pm

Hi Josh

Very dry in Nelson and temperatures also a little higher than usual on some days.

Hopefully some on the way in about a week.



RW on 27/02/2013 9:12am

February may turn out be as dry overall for NZ as 1973, but for the North Island the record month was Feb 1908. For Hawkes Bay in seasonal terms, the late spring and summer of 1945-46 was the record-setting benchmark.

Guest on 27/02/2013 4:13am

The ground is looking dry here in Loburn (10 minutes north-west of Rangiora) but nothing out of the ordinary. 77mm in January and 23 this month may sound like a decent amount of rain! But the very many 30+ degrees days – even 35+ in one case, have dried the ground. We have been watering but it’s still looking dry and cracked. As I said before it is nothing much out of the ordinary for North Canterbury.

WW Forecast Team on 27/02/2013 6:25am

 Great part of the country but as you say even though you’ve had a little more rain than some other areas the hot days have taken all that back into the atmosphere.

Could be hot again for you tomorrow sadly.



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