The skies opened to herald autumn in Northland following a prolonged hot and dry spell, with the region receiving 38mm of rain in 24 hours.
Unlike the start of autumn last year, Niwa said rain this time round would be welcomed by farmers and although it wouldn't drastically improve soil moisture levels, it would be a good start.
Niwa's latest climate summary for March to May predicted temperatures equally likely to be near average or above average for Northland and rainfall totals most likely to be near normal.
Soil moisture and river flows are predicted most likely to be below normal.
Niwa climate scientists Ben Noll said the weather outlook for Northland has changed slightly from the previous climate summary in that a rain-bearing system has come into play to tick things over until winter.
"However, given the low rainfall over summer, it will take several weather systems to bring soil moisture levels back up but we are expecting at least enough rain to help us get there."
Noll said last week's rain meteorological drought in areas such as Kaitaia and the Aupouri Peninsula were where Niwa had declared meteorological drought in summer.
MetService data shows 38mm of rain fell in the region in the 24 hours to 2.30pm Thursday at Kerikeri Airport.
Noll said rainfall was always patchy but the key thing was at least some rain fell in Northland.
On temperatures, he said the mercury should be climbing back up early this week.
Whangārei Airport recorded 27.2C— the highest temperature that week on Tuesday, March 2 in the district. Kaitaia was 24.4C on the same day. While Whangārei Airport is the official temperature Niwa uses, the thermometer would hit 4 or 5C warmer inland.
Niwa is predicting cool spells from time to time during the first half of March.
Niwa also released its summer climate summary that shows the highest one-day rainfall in New Zealand was 125 mm, recorded in Kerikeri on February 14.
Kaikohe was among places that recorded more than 100mm of rain in one day - the heaviest rain since last winter.
The town also recorded the third highest extreme wind gust in February, registering 80km/h.
At 25.5C, Whangārei had its fourth highest mean maximum temperature for summer since records began in 1967.
The Northland Adverse Events' Team (NAET) said recent rain has relieved immediate pressure on water supply and stock feed supplies in most parts of the region but there were factors beyond the current dry spell that worried farmers.
NAET said negative impact on aquifers and river flows from dry summers and a relatively dry winter, low livestock and meat prices, and the consequences of Covid, were some of the factors.
Shortage of parts for farm machinery, equipment, infrastructure, and containers for the export of products were affecting farm operations, it said.
NAET is advising farmers to develop a business plan around organising space at freezing works in advance for culling animals, confirming sales of store stock and arrangements for an monitoring stock grazed off farms.
They should also communicate with financiers to ensure continued access to funds for essential farm working expenses and to keep in contact with your neighbours and key network of family, friends, and advisers.