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The east needs a feast of rain as drought conditions continue (+2 Maps)

It’s much drier than average in the east of NZ’s two main islands with some describing conditions as a ‘green drought’ (when the grass might be green due to recent showers but the ground and waterways are dry).

The long range forecast for eastern NZ isn’t great with low rainfall totals over the coming 15 days. Some eastern areas may have as little as 10mm in that time.

Eastern Northland, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, eastern Marlborough and much of Canterbury all look drier than normal over the next 15 days with mostly dry weather.

Meanwhile the West Coast of the South Island may receive up to 300mm in the next 15 days, with the Southern Alps blocking much of that rain from tracking east. A southerly next week is also expected to help boost Southland’s rainfall totals – another region that could do with a soaking.

But the east of both islands will continue to be in the rain shadow until at least late April, with only a few showers expected – or brief rain that won’t accumulate to much. There may be some isolated hit and miss heavy downpours which have the potential to deliver higher rainfall totals, but these aren’t expected to be widespread. and have NZ’s most accurate rainfall data, so keep an eye on our daily totals for your specific area(s). You can also view tax funded Niwa soil moisture/drought index maps at the bottom part of

We’ll have more details in our weather video today.


david benton on 7/04/2021 5:37am

Might be time to look closer at some West to East tunnels , from the headwaters of the West Coast rivers to the East. May prove viable if combined with pumped hydro storage.

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