North to get a burst of rain and thunder

MetService says the rain due to fall on Northland will be enough to wet the land, but not stave off a drought. Photo / File
MetService says the rain due to fall on Northland will be enough to wet the land, but not stave off a drought. Photo / File

Auckland and Northland are about to get much-needed rain with a line of thunderstorms off the coast of the North Island.

The drought-stricken northern tip of the North Island is poised to get a burst of rain and lightning this morning as a rain band sweeps across the regions. It's still expected to be warm with temperatures in Kaitaia of up to 20C.

MetService said the rain would be just enough to wet the land rather than turn farms from brown to green.


Auckland is expected to get a burst of rain and thunder this morning and into the afternoon before fine spells. Temperatures are still expected to be warm, at up to 20C.

On Tuesday, Northland MP Winston Peters invited the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, to Northland to see how dry it had turned.

"Virtually all of Northland is much drier than normal at this time of the year, with much of the region now running soil moisture deficits of 130mm plus," he said.

"This is why I wrote to the Minister yesterday inviting him to see for himself. With dairy prices not much above break-even and beef prices sliding, drought is the last thing Northland needs.

"While there's not much we can do to make it rain, the government can fund advisory services through the Northland Rural Support Trust while IRD can show flexibility around filing and income equalisation.

"In the long term for Northland, water storage is the way forward because we do not want for rain here, just the means to store and use it"

He said 98.7 per cent of Northland's farmland was reliant upon the sky to deliver water, until irrigation arrives, but drought concerns were mounting.

Parched land with next to no rain for nearly two months is forcing Northland farmers to reduce their stock and pray for at least 100mm of rain before the end of January.

And there is a very real possibility that drought will be declared in Northland if the current dry spell continues for another two to three weeks. If a drought is declared it will be the fifth in Northland in the past eight years.

- NZ Herald

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