In the wake of this week's state of emergency it's hard to argue that this summer has been a particularly dry one, yet Hawke's Bay's conditions are still not classified as a drought.

The process of classifying a drought is a fairly complicated one and involves the Ministry of Primary Industries working with local stakeholders to identify how events should be classified based on their impact on the rural sector.

In the latest climate update meeting, attended by rural representatives, MPI and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, it was agreed that the region was not near the threshold to deem it a drought as farmers are coping and have options available to them.

While this is still the case Hawke's Bay Federated Farmers president Mr Foley expressed his concern for the dry conditions persisting through March due to the Bay's already-struggling river flows and aquifer levels.


"I don't feel Hawke's Bay can afford to go on through March will these conditions," he said.

Ministry for Primary Industries senior communications advisor Terri Anderson said while it's not unusual for Hawke's Bay to be dry in February, farmers would be very concerned if dry weather continues through March.

"If it gets to the point where it looks like they [farmers] would need support from the government to get through then what they would do is ask MPI to talk to the minister about classifying it as a medium-scale event," she said.

If MPI does not formally classify an adverse event as medium-scale or large-scale, the event is considered localised and dealt with locally by councils.

Ms Anderson said this week's state of emergency was a localised event, with the councils and rural support trusts dealing with the event at a local level.

"You can imagine there's lots of things that go on all the time and national government can't jump into every single one," she said.

Mr Foley made mention of good rainfall about one week ago, however he said strong winds and hot temperatures that followed essentially negated any positive effect.

"It tends to wipe out any rainfall...At the time it provides a sense of relief but it almost might well have not rained at all," he said.

NIWA principal scientist Chris Brandolino said although Hawke's Bay's soil moisture deficit was drier compared to normal, the region should expect some alleviation in the coming days.

Mr Brandolino said farmers should see notable improvements over the next five days due to increased rainfall, providing temperatures are cooler and there aren't any strong winds.

Metservice meteoroloist Cameron Couttes said the weather forecast predicts 50-80mm of rainfall over the next five days with cloudy skies and cooling winds.