Weather: Warm, dry conditions to bring more pain for drought-stricken farmers

There is no end in sight to the dry conditions.
There is no end in sight to the dry conditions. Photo credit: Getty

Farmers already facing drought conditions are set for more dry weather in the coming weeks.

Almost every part of the country will be drier than normal in the coming week, with the outlook to June 1 looking much the same, according to Weather Watch.

"The weather this week is spectacular – it’s also harmful to dry regions," Weather Watch said on Tuesday.

"On top of the 2020 droughts we also have the 2019-2020 rainfall deficit meaning this dry autumn will be problematic heading into winter for some people and businesses."

For farmers in Northland and Waikato, below-average rainfall totals are expected in the coming weeks, with eastern-leaning areas set to face the driest conditions.

"One positive is that daytime temperatures are mild – but the nights are cold so pasture growth will be limited now."

According to NIWA, much of the Hawke's Bay has received less than 40 percent of normal rainfall in the period between March and May. However, "some beneficial rainfall" is forecast for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne on Tuesday.

Weather: Warm, dry conditions to bring more pain for drought-stricken farmers
Photo credit: Weather Watch

Drought conditions in Hawke's Bay have been crippling for many farmers, with many saying the region is the driest it's been in living memory.

The dry conditions are caused in large part by a westerly flow that has dominated in the area over the past few months.

Many farmers in the region have already used their supplementary feed reserves, meaning they face tough decisions about how to manage their stock.

For Auckland, which is also struggling with a water shortage, the news isn't good either. Just 20mm of rain is forecast over the next two weeks, according to Weather Watch. 

"Any wet weather will likely fall as showers which means totals may be lower for some – and rainfall is not guaranteed across the catchment areas."

On Sunday, Watercare's chief executive Raveen Jaduram told Newshub Auckland's lake storage levels were at just 44.4 percent.

Weather: Warm, dry conditions to bring more pain for drought-stricken farmers
Photo credit: Weather Watch

Although a significant burst of wet weather is forecast to come out of tropical Australia within the next week, with a low growing in the Tasman Sea this weekend, it may not reach New Zealand, Weather Watch said.

"Blocking high pressure to New Zealand’s east may well limit this wet weather for the North Island – keeping those rainfall totals down. It’s a frustratingly close set up."

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