Report confirms dry conditions for farmers across the country

Latest figures show many parts of the country are experiencing drier than normal conditions.

The NIWA weekly 'hotspot' soil moisture update assesses the likelihood of extremely dry weather before a drought. 

It shows up to October 17, 2018, rainfall has been below normal or well below normal for a majority of the North Island, excluding the East Cape and the Tauranga area where rainfall has been near normal. 

It says the drier than normal pattern has generally been a continuation of what was observed during September.

Consequently, soils are drier than normal for the time of year in parts of Kaipara, Auckland, northern Waikato and the Coromandel Peninsula, around Taupo and Mt Ruapehu, and across Greater Wellington-Wairarapa, excluding Wellington City. 

The most unsually dry soils are found in parts of the Far North, Rodney, Franklin, northern Taupo, as well as in the Tararua, Horowhenua and Masterton Districts.  

Report confirms dry conditions for farmers across the country
Photo credit: Supplied

NIWA say rainfall patterns have been mixed during the first two weeks of October for the South Island. There's been near normal rainfall in much of the island, excluding the Queenstown-Lakes District in Otago, the Grey and Buller Districts in the West Coast, far northern Marlborough, and the Waimate District in southern Canterbury. 

Currently, soil moisture values are below or well below normal in the Waimakariri and southern Hurunui Districts of Canterbury along with eastern Tasman and western Marlborough, but near normal elsewhere.

Report confirms dry conditions for farmers across the country
Photo credit: Supplied

The NIWA report says the current pattern of higher than normal pressure and prevailing westerlies, bringing generally dry conditions especially in the east, is expected to continue over the next seven days. Temperatures are forecast to be above or well above average nationwide through the first half of next week, with the largest temperature departures from average in the east of both islands.

There are currently no hotspots, but an area to monitor is in the southern Hurunui District in northern Canterbury.

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