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Worst in 50 years? Farmers increasingly talk about how dry it’s getting

Not everyone in New Zealand is having a perfect summer and for those who are holidaying under long hot sunny days you may want to spare a thought for those farming and gardening around you.

Parts of Northland, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay are now especially dry – much drier than average. Yesterday forecast places like Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay will be mostly or completely dry for the next 10 to 14 days, with highs into the mid 30s at times.

More high pressure is forecast for New Zealand at the start of February reducing severe weather risks and blocking most rain makers from reaching these driest areas.

“What many people in the west may not realise is that their windy, cloudy and cool January meant for a spectacularly dry and hot set up for many eastern areas, great for holidaymakers but concerning for farmers and gardeners” says head weather forecaster Philip Duncan.

Last night received this email below (and photos) from Central Hawke’s Bay farmer Vince Galbraith. We’re sure Vince won’t mind us hinting that he’s of a mature age – he’s provided us and CountryTV with very accurate updates from his part of the North Island over the years.

“Very dry now, worst in 50 odd years” wrote Vince to last night. “Photos yesterday at sunset looking towards Hastings, Waipukurau and north towards the Kaweka Ranges off the deck at Tikokino”.

“Water for stock is a problem, around us we have one neighbour hooking theirs to the other for stock water. First time wells have ever dried up. I can count 30 centre pivots working at night from our house, they will be lowering the water table at great rate I think”.

Thanks for the update Vince – we hope you get a good rain maker in February, but don’t hold your breath just yet. 



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