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WeatherWatch: Droughts not over yet

In New Zealand we’re quick to announce when droughts have formed – but not so quick at following up their demise.  Despite recent rainfall all four drought zones – Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough and Wairarapa all continue to have areas that are still desperate for rain – with total figures for 2015 so far well below average.

In particular North and South Canterbury has been in the ‘rain shadow’ for the past few months – meaning that while many other areas have had rain relief – not all have had it, due to the big mountains and ranges blocking rainfall amounts.

Droughts don’t end when rain simply comes back.  For farmers and growers the state of the farm or property comes into it…things like, soil type, health of animals, fruit or produce and feed – plus the time of year we’re in.  In other words – if rain falls on a farm that needs grass growth, but the temperatures plummet after the rain, it means little grass growth… or put another way – little relief for the farmer or grower. continues to work closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries and CountryTV (Sky Channel 81) to ensure we’re giving you the best possible forecasts – not just simply rain, but the whole package.

There is good news though – the droughts have been slowly eaten away around the edges due to numerous rain bands and showers crossing New Zealand over the past few weeks.

With warmer weather this weekend – and a little rain too – it bodes well for the four driest parts of the country to receive some positive help from Mother Nature.

The latest Poll on our homepage also shows that around 20% of our readers are still “desperate” for rain. 

With that in mind – keep up to date with our latest drought news and long range forecasts at

HAVE YOUR SAY – are you in a drought zone (or outside one) and still need rain?  Post your comments, general location – and rainfall totals – below.


Guest on 15/04/2015 7:12am

this year we have had 22 in jan 35 in feb 114 in march and 78 so far for april which make 248 so far for the year and we average 1900 mils a year both 2014 and 13 were 200 mils below normal and unless this year starts to wake up it will be dry as well…we struggle to get more than 20 mils in a hit and you need BIG FALLS TO MAKE UP THE SHORTFALL!!!!!!!!!!…..the grass is dead in places down to dirt and it doesnt come back in 5 mins

cupoteacoast on 15/04/2015 2:01am

We had been very droughty on the Kapiti Coast since way back in 2014. Winter-Spring-Summer, were all abnormally dry for Paekakariki. Three years of summer drought in a row now. Come April 2015, we have been deluged with rain. 149.4mm in April so far. The monsoon has arrived!  

I hate the word drought as it is applied in NZ, as only farmers are taken into account. Prolonged dry spells are also very costly to gardeners and people on water tanks. Months with little rainfall, places running out of water, but a drought is not declared if farmers are not affected. There is no assistance to anyone else either. That is hardly fair.

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