The government has declared Northland a drought zone.
Overnight heavy rain was predicted however as of midnight last night much of the rain clouds had broken apart.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says it’s a familiar scenario when fronts move in from the north west, causing rain clouds to break up as they move over the length of Northland. WeatherWatch says even a slight change of angle can cause a significant difference on how much rain will fall and where.
Some heavy falls were visible on the radar images late last night but nothing that would ease drought conditions for many.
All three of Northland’s districts; the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara, are affected by what is considered a medium-level drought. A record dry November and challenging spring conditions have led to poor pasture in many areas, which has dried out further with the recent low rainfall, high winds and temperatures.
Agriculture Minister David Carter says the Government will come to the aid of affected farmers. He says a drought recovery package is now in place.
Mr Carter will be in Northland on Friday to see conditions and meet with the Northland Rural Support Trust and farmers dealing with the drought.
“The situation in Northland is grim and if there is low rainfall through to March, as predicted, there won’t be enough grass to feed livestock in many areas.”
Heavy showers and thunderstorms are forecast today with WeatherWatch.co.nz predicting a “higher chance” of rain across the region than last night.
– WEATHERWATCH.CO.NZ STAFF, NEWSTALKZB.CO.NZ