Weather: New Zealand drying out faster than usual

Arid conditions have spread across the Tasman, with meteorology experts warning New Zealand is drying out faster than usual.

Droughts have already been declared in New South Wales and South Australia, and a NIWA soil moisture map shows the extent of the anomalies here.

Weather: New Zealand drying out faster than usual

Weather Watch says the period of dry weather has been caused by a number of westerly events and large highs.

There's less soil moisture in regions like Waikato, Manawatu, Wairarapa and North Canterbury - and it could have an effect on farmers as lower soil moisture levels reduce pasture growth.

A Weather Watch poll found a quarter of respondents said conditions are now drying out and rain is needed soon, and 31 percent said rain will be needed in the near future based on current conditions.

"The latest rain forecast map compared to normal, issued by the US Government for New Zealand, shows the drying out trend expanding over the next seven days as a band of high pressure from south of Australia rolls in," Weather Watch warns.

"Although a sub-tropical low later this week has the possibility of bringing heavy rain to some north eastern coastal parts of the upper North Island, over 90 percent of the rain looks to be falling out at sea."

MetService says the dry weather is due to several fronts weakening as they move over New Zealand, and there will be plenty of fine weather for the first week of the school holidays.

"While everywhere should get spells of fine weather this week, the best place to be from Tuesday is probably the central North Island," says meteorologist Stephen Glassey.

"Taupo and New Plymouth are set to see a fairly settled week of weather."