Farmers in the upper North Island region of Northland are becoming increasingly worried that they are heading back in to drought – possibly their third consecutive one.
WeatherWatch.co.nz confirmed today that rainfall figures for October and November were dramatically below the average – and are also below levels for the same time last year.
Farmers have been contacting WeatherWatch.co.nz and Country99TV asking when the rains will arrive.
The latest data indicates that very little rain is in the forecast for the first 10 days of summer.
La Nina conditions usually bring wetter weather to northern New Zealand but for the majority of spring higher than usual air pressure has limited the movement of rain on to the country – especially northern New Zealand.
Neighbouring regions are also drying out quickly, such as Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
The long range prediction for summer is that the rain will arrive, says NIWA – but right now farmers and those who rely on rain water simply want to know “when”.
In the summer of 2007 and 08 droughts affected Northland despite La Nina conditions being in place.
This year farmers and forecasters will just have to keep watching the long range models and hope that the highs over New Zealand weaken – soon – to allow rain bearing lows to move back in.
WeatherWatch.co.nz is closely monitoring this developing situation and will bring you the latest rain forecasts as soon as they come to hand.
on 1/12/2010 5:12am
I have the regional rainfall figures for the summer of 2007 and 2008, which show most areas of Norlhland had very high rainfall in December and February, average in January and March, so drought conditions would not have been widespread in Northland. I lived in the Waikato at that time, where we had less than 10 mm of rain in January and Februrary, after a fairly dry November and December. Farmers in Northland were selling baleage to Waikato farmers because they had plenty of grass. Most farmers in the North Island expect dry conditions in Jan and Feb, so for it to be so dry already is very worrying!!!!! Rain dance everyone please!!!