Dry weather is the main course on this weeks weather menu as a large high holds firm and continues to build its strength over New Zealand. While this makes for great weather at the beach it spells disaster for farmers, especially those in the Waikato where just 5mm of rain has fallen since Christmas. Farmers are coping but farm water is drying up fast.
The Radio Networks head weather analyst says La Nina usually brings higher than average rainfalls for northern New Zealand but this year we’ve simply been “unlucky”. “Last weeks ex-tropical cyclone Funa should’ve delivered rain but unfortunately the Kaimai Ranges sheltered much of Waikato from it. Again in the weekend another tropical storm moved down but this one was just a few hundred kilometres too far east to deliver any rain to parched North Island farms”.
Duncan says it’s just a waiting game and is quite different to last years set up. “We really need a tropical low to move down to New Zealand while we’re in between highs. This ‘window of opportunity’ really only happens once a week during summer and with the tropics bursting with moisture and low pressure systems hopefully it’s just a waiting game”.
But he says the bad news is that long range models and forecasts show no significant moisture on the way for most of the country including the Waikato region. “Farms right over New Zealand are in for a dry 7 to 10 days”.