Napier's reputation for rain when big cricket matches are to be played at McLean Park seems set to go another round with a forecast for more tomorrow for the first game there in nearly 10 months.
After more than 20mm of rainfall was recorded at Hawke's Bay Airport and other places around Napier, across the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha plains in two days up to late afternoon yesterday, national weather agency MetService was forecasting much more of the same.
Tomorrow the forecast is for mostly cloudy weather with periods of rain more frequent in the afternoon. The 10-day forecast shows little variation through to and including Art Deco Weekend next week.
Central Districts Cricket Association chief executive Pete De Wet conceded the forecast for tomorrow's Ford Trophy national men's one-day championship match between first-class sides Central and Northern Districts "doesn't look flash," but with both teams assembling in Napier, decisions won't be made until tomorrow.
"Good luck for the game," said a duty meteorologist last night.
The last match at the park at the end of March last year, a four-day game between Central Districts and Auckland, was significantly disrupted by rain.
Most famously a one-day match between New Zealand and Australia was abandoned without a ball being bowled on February 2 last year, not so much because of rain but because of the sudden inability of the ground to drain in some areas.
A Black Caps match against South Africa scheduled for a month later was transferred to Hamilton, and another against England which had been programmed for later this month has been transferred to Mount Maunganui.
Two of the Central Districts' Stags' four-day Plunket Shield national men's first-class cricket championship matches are also scheduled for McLean Park, against Otago starting on March 1, and Canterbury starting on March 25.
A Super Rugby championship match between the Hurricanes and South African side the Sharks will be played on April 6, before a major turf replacement and drainage programme aimed at seeing the park ready again in time for the Hawke's Bay Magpies' August-October provincial rugby championship season.
Despite the prolonged hot weather of the last month, rain over the weekend was expected to bring Heretaunga and Ruataniwha plains rainfalls for the first six weeks of the year up to or over average.