Thursday, 29 February 2024 12:55

Weather back to normal?

Written by  Peter Burke
Conditions will be more typical, unlike last year's wet weather. Conditions will be more typical, unlike last year's wet weather.

MetService meteorologist James Millward says the country’s weather patterns are now on a much more even footing.

He says that will give farmers more certainty as to where they are and where they are going. Millward told Rural News that up until now, the weather has been going through something of a transitional period and the full effect of the El Nino weather pattern is likely to kick in during the coming weeks. He says this will bring some higher pressures across the North Island, resulting in prolonged dry summer weather.

Millwards adds, the good news for farmers is that conditions will be more typical, unlike last year’s weird, wet weather. He says, at present, the North Island is drying out and in terms of soil moisture the country is not far away from where it would normally be.

He says the exception is southern Wairarapa, which is particularly dry. But he adds that the expected early dry has not eventuated, with rain falling in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay and the possibility of further rains depending on what might happen with weather systems in the tropics.

“The weather could be a bit of mixed bag in the next few weeks but soon we’ll move into the normal El Nino pattern.”

Millward adds that while it’s dried out in Canterbury, the region has benefited from some of the rain that came over the ranges from the heavy downpours on the West Coast. He says some of this got into the Mackenzie Basin, which was very dry. Other dry areas are Kaikoura and Marlborough.

“Overall, it’s a drier outlook for the South Island.”

“There is risk that droughts could set in though autumn, but at the moment we are sitting pretty well right across the country in terms of soil moistures,” he explains. “So, for farmers it’s probably not so stressful as it has been.”

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