Hopes high for rain to end drought

By Mike Dinsdale

The long weekend's welcome rain may have had some farmers dancing in their paddocks - but it was nowhere near enough to end the region's crippling drought.

The Easter weekend brought rain to many parts of Northland, but its inconsistency - from no rain at Ruawai the whole weekend, to 33mm at Ohaeawai on Sunday - meant it wasn't enough to break the drought.

Northland Rural Support Trust spokeswoman Julie Jonker said up to 170mm of rain would be needed to end the drought, but the weekend's rain certainly helped some farmers.

"We're telling farmers not to wait for that huge downpour but to take advantage of any rain that does come. Also keep an eye on water supplies for your stock. An adult cow needs up to 50 litres of water a day, so if you are putting out a 20 litre bucket that's not going to cut the mustard."

She said the trust was focusing on drought relief for farmers and it was important that farmers sought help when they needed it.

MetService forecaster John Law said because Northland has been so dry for so long the weekend's rain doesn't make up for what the region didn't get over the past three months.

Mr Law said a weather front should bring rain to Northland tonight and tomorrow.

"It should bring more useful rain, and be more widespread than the showers in some places over the weekend," he said.

"There'll also be a change in wind direction to a southerly which will cool things down a bit."

Weekend rainfall:

  • Ruawai - no rain

  • Kaitaia - 1mm

  • Kaeo - 3.5mm

  • Whangarei - 4mm

  • Pouto Point - 7.5mm

  • Ruakaka (Wilsons Dam) - 7.5mm

  • Puhipuhi - 8.3mm

  • Kerikeri - 9mm

  • Tutamoe - 9mm

  • Hikurangi - 12.5mm

  • Ohaeawai - 35.5mm


- Source - NRC

- Northern Advocate

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