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Heavy downpours bring some relief to dry north

It wasn’t widespread but heavy showers that exploded into life on Sunday afternoon across the upper North Island have brought significant relief to some farmers.

Across Northland, Auckland and parts of central Waikato afternoon cloud build ups produced torrential downpours heavy enough to spill over gutters and saturate the ground.

Aucklander Stan Clark contacted us immediately after the deluge.  “Good forecasting. You got it right where I live just west of Pukekohe township.  From late this afternoon until 7.30pm, 25 mm of rain was recorded but little or nothing outside of the narrow south moving rain band”.

Mr Clark says the rain was “very useful” in his part of the drought zone.

However his comments highlight just how hit and miss this narrow band of rain was.

Another reader, this time from Northland, was more direct “Yippee! It”s pissing down in Whangarei {Titoki}” wrote “Colleen”.

On Twitter and Facebook people quickly uploaded photos of wet roads, wet farms, wet balconies and big, dark, rain clouds. Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the band of showers was tricky to forecast and, as most big downpours have been this year, it was hit and miss.  “We knew the rain wouldn’t be widespread but it was great to see the afternoon cloud build ups pushing into Auckland, Northland and Waikato”.

Despite the heavy downpours across northern New Zealand – the first part of the nation to be declared drought zones this year – many farms missed out, as predicted by last week.  “It’s frustrating for those who missed out this time but week by week, region by region, these showers are now making inroads into the drought” says Mr Duncan.

“The green is coming back, little by little, and right across the country.  Those who still only have brown will hopefully see some rain or showers in the coming 10 days as well”.

Mr Duncan says the warm weather coupled with the Easter Sunday rain and showers means those lucky enough to receive rain will certainly see new and rapid grass growth in the coming week or two.

Showers also fell across western regions of the lower North Island and much of the West Coast with a few spits making into the east – but not enough to help most people who need it.

– Homepage image, file,



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