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Is a ‘Big Dry’ forming in New Zealand already? (+3 Maps)

2019 has been drier than normal in many regions and we’re only now entering what is typically our driest months ahead. What does this mean for our country? has been closely monitoring the patterns lately and notes that for this time of year rainfall is down in many regions. 

“We need a couple of good, warm, rainmakers in November or early December to set us up nicely for summer” says head forecaster Philip Duncan. “Pasture growth rates are already slowing down in some regions due to the uptick in dry weather lately and the next week ahead looks much drier than normal”.

Mr Duncan says spring is a funny season when it comes to rainfall but normally by now rainfall totals would be higher in many northern regions and spring often gives us a final top up. “Southland and the West Coast have had a fair bit of rain lately and some surprise areas like Hawke’s Bay too. But overall while soil moisture levels aren’t too bad it’s the water levels deep down and in our waterways and lakes that may be more of an issue in the hotter, drier, months ahead”.

Over winter Aucklanders were asked to save water and achieved a 2.5% drop in usage. Some good rain has fallen since winter in our largest city but things are now leaning dry again. Already gardens are drying out and lawns have stopped growing as fast. People will be using their hoses and sprinklers more and more.

Australia is still in a record drought that has been going on for the past few years, with New Zealand so close to their eastern side it perhaps isn’t surprising to see that we’re getting a little caught up in their pattern too.

Red = Drier than average
White = Normal rainfall
Blue = Wetter than usual


NEXT 14 DAYS RAINFALL – Northern and eastern NZ look driest (GFS)

To make sense of upcoming rainfall for you locally, please use – it has more weather data for your local location than any other website on earth and much more than both NZ Government forecasters combined. (Please note first time users it may take 10 seconds to load – we’re working on a fix for that too!).



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