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South Island: The long tough big dry

It’s one thing being in a prolonged dry spell – it’s another thing seeing your neighbouring regions receive a lot of rain as you miss out.

At we avoid the sensational headlines about El Nino that other media are using regularly – this is because the reality isn’t matching up with the headlines on a nationwide scale.  Media outlets have been talking about NZ facing the worst droughts in 100 years this summer.  But forecasting this before the event happens is like seeing a cyclone near Fiji and saying with certainty this will be worse than Bola destruction-wise when it hits NZ in 10 days time – you simply can’t say that and every time a news outlet or forecaster in NZ has done it, they’ve been wrong.

So we wait until the weather patterns slow down and tend to lock themselves in a little more – usually around this time of the year.

The pattern that is currently emerging in the South Island’s east coast is especially tough.  Canterbury is still in drought – with the start of the hottest, driest, 4 months ahead only just arriving.  It is absolutely concerning – and not just for Canterbury, but for the regions that neighbour it, both North Otago and Marlborough.

The rain is falling all around these regions though.  Parts of western Otago, Southland and the West Coast have had more rain than usual.  In the North Island recent rains over October and November have significantly reversed the big dry that was forming – but that doesn’t mean summer will be ok.

North Island regions aren’t exempt – it won’t take long for the nation to dry out if the rain makers suddenly stop.  The spring pattern we have into December this year will fuel more changeable weather and this is positive – but it also encourages windy, hot, dry days too.

For now though, most of NZ is in a fairly healthy weather pattern – but those in Canterbury, Otago, Marlborough and even Wairarapa are now facing a serious dry summer ahead and people across NZ should understand the burden this will start to have on local communities, individual people, and even our economy should this ‘big dry’ creep further into the North Island and South Island. will continue to track the potential rain makers and current conditions – updates from your property go a long way at helping us work out which parts of NZ are driest too.  And if you think we’re wrong in our estimation of conditions – be blunt and tell us as it helps us continually fine tune our coverage.



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