Hawke's Bay may have escaped the heavy rain of the last week with possibly more gains than losses with a big boost to farming throughout the region.
Some areas from Northern to Southern Hawke's Bay had over 180mm of rain, with a peak of 244mm at Waipapa, inland from the Central Hawke's Bay coast – similar to its deluge in the southernmost extremes of last November 9's tempest which brought near-record rainfall in Napier caused widespread flooding and a State of Emergency declaration for the city.
Among other peaks, mainly between last Friday and Tuesday night this week, were the 232mm at Parks Peak, in the Kaweka Range west of Napier and Hastings, and 181.2mm at Pukeorapa, inland northwest of Mahia.
Falls totalling 104mm were recorded by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council in Napier, while about 70mm was record in Hastings.
Council principal scientist Dr Kathleen Kozyniak said the "terrific" amount of rain over the past week was "well distributed" throughout the region. Totals were typically more than 70mm, she said.
"It means we've exceeded the region's average June rainfall, and thankfully it's ended the run of six consecutive months of below normal rainfall on the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha Plains and in Southern Hawke's Bay.
"Northern Hawke's Bay is the only part of the region that is still below average for the month."
Kozyniak said the rain had "done wonders" for soil moisture levels across the region, and they are now above median levels for the time of year. Most sites had reached field capacity.
But she said rainfall accumulations for the hydrological year (July to June) remained below average for most of the region, in particular at Ruahine Range sites Moorcock and Glenwood, where they remain less than last year and in the lowest 10 per cent of records at those sites.
Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay president Jim Galloway said that with the combination of the rain followed by sunny weather "the grass is starting to grow," dams would be replenishing in contrast to the drought conditions of last winter, and it would be difficult find farmers who were not happy with the weather of the last week.
By Thursday he hadn't heard of any significant damage, and the weather would have done "a lot more good than harm."
The regional council also reported Ngaruroro River flows late Thursday were still well above average.At Whana Whana it was 50cumecs, compared with 15cumecs prior to the rain, and an historic June average of 40cumecs. At Kuripapango it was 27cumecs, compared with 10cumecs prior to the rain and a June average of 21cumecs.
MetService had no weather warnings for Hawke's Bay, its regional forecast being for a fine Friday morning, clouding-over with northwesterlies in the afternoon, followed by possible showers especially towards the ranges on Saturday, developing to widespread rain on Sunday afternoon, with northwesterlies possible to gale force in exposed places.
Napier's temperature was about 16C early on Thursday afternoon, but daytime temperatures in the twin-cities area during the weekend are expected to reach 20C.