Is New Zealand heading for a drought?

Weather Watch has predicted New Zealand is heading for a drought.
WeatherWatch has predicted New Zealand is heading for a drought. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand could be heading for a drought, according to WeatherWatch.

In an article published on Tuesday morning, the weather authority speculated that the "exceptional" dryness in parts of the country combined with unseasonal heat could have a devastating impact through the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018.

"Unless something major changes in New Zealand's weather patterns droughts may very well form in parts of the country," said the article.

MetService declined to comment on whether a drought is on the cards, but meteorologist Tom Adams did say that December will "quite possibly" see heat records broken around the country. 

"What we're seeing is an abnormally long dry spell," he told Newshub.

There has been record-breaking dryness in multiple locations such as Westport, which is on its 24th consecutive dry day, and Hokitika, which has had 19 consecutive dry days. A dry day is defined as a period of 24 hours with less than one millilitre of rainfall.

Mr Adams said there is some humidity and rainfall in store for upper regions of both the North and South Islands, which will bring more typical December weather to these locations.

He also said that north-easterlies are predicted for the East Coast, which should bring "average rainfall" to places like Napier, which faced running out of water on Monday night.