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NZ @ Noon

Thursday has turned out to be the sunniest and driest day of the week and it’s been months since we’ve seen parts of the country seeing showers or rain over a three day period or more.

Cold conditions greeted much of New Zealand this morning with a frost reported across Dannervike and also pockets of inland areas of the South Island.

With sunny skies following, temperatures have quickly thawed out and this afternoon should see thermometers climb further but perhaps still a degree or two below March maximums over central and southern districts.

“It’s felt like Autumn this week not that I’m minding” wrote Hazel from Tinwald, Mid Canterbury.

“It’s great when we get some good rains follwoing by cooler sunshine” posted Adam in Masterton.”It makes you want to get out of bed early and get into the day.”

Winds over the next few days are looking to be light overall with a puff of a sea breeze still coming in across most coasts.

“The winds off the sea will have a slightly cooler feel overall than what we’ve seen in recent weeks” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.” The humidty levels have dropped from where they were and certainly nights are much more comfortable to sleep in”.

WeatherWatch believes later this weekend a frontal system heading towards the South Island with the bulk of the rain falling across the West Coast.
It’s too early to tell how much is expected after last weeks system failed to fire up totally across the region and instead delivered more rain over central parts of the country.

Meanwhile many areas have greened up since the rain or showers earlier in the week but the overall situation is that almost all areas need further rain as even just a few days of sunshine will see conditions start to dry out yet again.

Export prices helping partially

The drought gripping most of the country is hitting dairy farmers hard, but soaring export prices will partially offset lost production, economists say.

Milk product prices at Fonterra’s latest GlobalDairyTrade auction leaped by 14.8 per cent as buyers flocked to secure dwindling supplies before the end of the season.

Prices for wholemilk powder – the most significant product for New Zealand producers – hit its highest level ever, rising 21.2 per cent to US$5116 a tonne.

It was the seventh consecutive fortnightly gain and brings prices to 38 per cent above December levels and 77 per cent above the mid-May lows.

The news of higher milk prices was tempered by the fact that low volumes caused by the drought are largely responsible for the gains.

Westpac said milk production could drop for the first time in five years as a result of drought conditions afflicting the entire North Island and part of the South.

The bank’s economists predict milk production for the 2012-2013 season may be as much as 2 per cent lower than last year, despite increasing herd sizes and a bumper spring.


WeatherWatch & NZHerald


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