District dry but rain due over next 10 days

PARTS of the Gisborne district are on the edge of drought but the weather might come to the rescue over the next week or so.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) has Gisborne listed as one of its current hotspots, where conditions are severely dry.

District council staff are also keeping an eye on the situation as creeks dry up and soil moisture plummets.

Irrigation on the Flats has gone into overdrive as surface soils have become dry, affecting planting regimes, and pastoral farmers further inland are noticing the country browning off as grass growth stops.

There has been no decent rain since September 28, when 26.6mm fell in Gisborne, and the council’s rain gauge stations show a broad swathe of low rainfall from the coast across the hills behind Gisborne as far as Waikaremoana.

Last month’s rainfall in Gisborne was just one third of normal at 19mm and similar amounts are recorded across much of the southern part of the district.

Niwa principal scientist - forecasting, Chris Brandolino, says weather systems due to cross the country over the next 10 days might go some way to helping with the Gisborne rainfall deficit.

While the deep low barrelling towards central New Zealand is forecast to bring strong north to north-west winds to Gisborne tomorrow, only a few drops of rain are expected here, much like the smattering of moisture overnight.

MetService says there is a moderate confidence of severe gales here tomorrow, but a low confidence of any heavy rain.

Mr Brandolino says the weather pattern at the moment is geared towards more moist lows sweeping down from the sub-tropics around New Caledonia and this might deliver what Gisborne needs over the next week or so . . . “something more meaningful”.

The soil moisture deficit in Gisborne is around 105mm and has climbed at the rate of 3.5mm a day over the past week. Mr Brandolino says the danger is persistent warm drying winds.

However, while Gisborne is noted as a hotspot, it is not yet identified as a “meteorological drought”.

PARTS of the Gisborne district are on the edge of drought but the weather might come to the rescue over the next week or so.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) has Gisborne listed as one of its current hotspots, where conditions are severely dry.

District council staff are also keeping an eye on the situation as creeks dry up and soil moisture plummets.

Irrigation on the Flats has gone into overdrive as surface soils have become dry, affecting planting regimes, and pastoral farmers further inland are noticing the country browning off as grass growth stops.

There has been no decent rain since September 28, when 26.6mm fell in Gisborne, and the council’s rain gauge stations show a broad swathe of low rainfall from the coast across the hills behind Gisborne as far as Waikaremoana.

Last month’s rainfall in Gisborne was just one third of normal at 19mm and similar amounts are recorded across much of the southern part of the district.

Niwa principal scientist - forecasting, Chris Brandolino, says weather systems due to cross the country over the next 10 days might go some way to helping with the Gisborne rainfall deficit.

While the deep low barrelling towards central New Zealand is forecast to bring strong north to north-west winds to Gisborne tomorrow, only a few drops of rain are expected here, much like the smattering of moisture overnight.

MetService says there is a moderate confidence of severe gales here tomorrow, but a low confidence of any heavy rain.

Mr Brandolino says the weather pattern at the moment is geared towards more moist lows sweeping down from the sub-tropics around New Caledonia and this might deliver what Gisborne needs over the next week or so . . . “something more meaningful”.

The soil moisture deficit in Gisborne is around 105mm and has climbed at the rate of 3.5mm a day over the past week. Mr Brandolino says the danger is persistent warm drying winds.

However, while Gisborne is noted as a hotspot, it is not yet identified as a “meteorological drought”.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you think the benefits of forestry to the region outweigh its negative impacts?
    See also: