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North Island’s “big dry” becoming a real concern

Very dry conditions in certain parts of the North Island will only get worse in the coming 10 days says

Despite heavy showers popping up over Saturday, Sunday and Monday – and a front bringing some showers on Tuesday – the overall conditions are now very dry in parts of the North Island. and CountryTV agree that the driest regions are western Northland, parts of Auckland, much of Waikato (except near the Kaimai ranges where Lusi delivered 100 to 200mm), King Country, Wanganui and Manawatu.

Many farmers within these regions have told over the past few months that conditions are drier than this time last year, during the historic half century drought.

Long range forecasts provided by show a mostly dry weather pattern ahead for the North Island as we head into early April.

A large high is expected to roll in this weekend and last well into the first week of April.

No significant rain is in the forecast for the Upper North Island for the rest of March.

In Spring of 2013 was the only mainstream forecaster in New Zealand to repeatedly warn of possible drought-like conditions in the first quarter of 2014.  The forecast was based on a weather pattern that had ‘many similar features’ to the weather pattern of summer of 2012/13.



Ian Cooper on 26/03/2014 2:46am

With March coming to a close the rain tallies for the most critical months of Nov-Mar are very close to the Great drought of 1947-48 for Palmerston North. With totals between 50 & 60mm for N-D-J followed by 18.6 in Feb and a new record low 9mm in March for P.N. this la Nada (El Nino Neutral) drought is almost a twin for the 1947-48 one. The profile fits that earlier drought whereas last years La Nada drought followed the form of 1977-78 and 2002-03.

The big question is, what will be the shape of the recovery? In 1948 April turned up 99mm, but May produced Palmerston North’s 7th wettest month on record with 224.1mm which is 34mm more than we have had in the past five months!

We live in interesting times.

@whenuapaiphil on 24/03/2014 11:57pm

My weather station has recorded 53mm of rain for the entire year to date compared to 61mm to the end of March 2013, however January 2014 was wetter than 2013. Feb / March 2014 totals 23.8mm, compared to 51.6mm in 2013. Cyclone Luci was a major disappointment with just 11.2mm.

Melanie on 24/03/2014 9:04pm

We haven’t had any significant rain for a long time.  We had a very brief shower this morning that didn’t register in the rain gauge.  Horses haven’t seen green grass since before Christmas, have been feeding out twice a day.  Water tank very low now and we may even have to buy water for the first time (have been on this property for 9 1/2 years and never had to buy water before).  Massive cracks in the ground and not a blade of greenery anywhere! Please let it rain soon!

Celtickiwi on 24/03/2014 11:25pm

Awww Melanie – my heart went out to the farmers when my partner and I travelled to Taranak from Papamoa through Putaruru way.

I have NEVER seen our country sides look so arid, and I have never travelled along the road to have dust blowing across it from the paddocks either.

I have had a farming upbringing and I know how disressing this must be for the farmers out there.

You deserve a massive pat on the back for the way you have all managed so far.

It a hell of a testing time for you all. My fingers are crossed for a decent rain maker to move in and dump its load on the Waikato. If that fails – Ill don some face paint and do a rain dance on our lawn for ya’s.

sw on 24/03/2014 7:14pm

not at my place,with lusi plus a copuple of showery days since and torrential rain sunday afternoon,and its wet outside now,the gardens are weedy wheres wernt before then and lawns quite green now.

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