NEW Zealand’s parched countryside has been hit with desperately needed rain but the downpour won’t be enough to end the drought.
Grim-faced weather forecasters predict a dry Easter in the wake of this latest downfall that will leave 20-40mm of rain to soak into dry soil and top up draining reserves.
“That’s a good start, a very good start, considering how little rain we’ve had,” Weather Watch analyst Richard Green said on Monday.
“But what we really need is 70 to 100mm spread over three different events if we’re going to fix this problem. The trouble is we don’t see those back-up events coming through.”
Rain finally came to New Zealand over the weekend, with every centre recording anything from 2mm in Wellington up to 30mm on the West Coast on Sunday.
Rainfall was expected to continue across much of the country on Monday and into Tuesday, bringing grief for the cricket at Wellington’s Basin Reserve but relief to the capital’s stretched water reserves.
But it’s not to last.
“I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news – we’re trying to be positive here – but things aren’t looking good for later in the week and next week,” Mr Green said.
“There was some hope that Easter could be wet (but) there’s an anticyclone around so that’s looking increasingly unlikely.”
The whole of the North Island has been declared a drought zone, a situation that looks set to cost the national economy up to $NZ2 billion ($A1.6 billion).