Drought lingers despite heavy rain

By Genevieve Helliwell

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The Bay of Plenty is still in a state of drought despite massive amounts of rain during the weekend.

More than 200mm of rain fell in Tauranga on Saturday and Sunday before the weather mainly cleared yesterday and less than 1mm of rain was recorded.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirmed the drought warning had not been lifted despite the heavy rainfall.

Spokeswoman Trina Saffioti said it was the Primary Industries Minister David Carter's decision as to when the drought declaration would be lifted.

She said the earliest it would be possible to realistically reassess the situation would be May, because it would then be clear what the autumn has brought and what farmers' situation was going into winter.

MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said the worst of the weather had passed and Tauranga would remain mainly dry for the next few days. There would be a handful of passing showers from today through to the week's end but they would not be as strong or as intense as those on the weekend.

The northerly weather experienced during the weekend, which brought the heavy rain from the tropics, has changed to a fresh westerly wind which would bring more favourable, dry weather.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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