One of these things is not like the other

It’s easy to see if there’s a flood or an earthquake, but drought’s an odd one to call. When does a dry spell become a drought?

Published on Friday, December 08, 2017

NIWA recently launched a NZ Drought Index https://niwa.co.nz/climate/information-and-resources/drought-monitor which is a really useful piece of the drought puzzle. It takes into account four different measures of dryness, which are combined and categorised as:

  • dry
  • very dry
  • extremely dry
  • drought
  • severe drought.

Dry spells and droughts are part of life for many farmers across New Zealand. Farmers monitor their local conditions, plan for dry weather, and make tough decisions early.

MPI doesn’t declare droughts, but help to identify if the impacts of a drought on the primary sector should be classified as a medium- or large-scale adverse event, under the criteria in the Primary Sector Recovery Policy.  That triggers extra government recovery assistance, such as additional funding for Rural Support Trusts to help their farming communities.

As well as the NZ Drought Index, MPI’s criteria includes:

  • options available for farmers to prepare for the event;
  • the likelihood and scale of the physical impact; and
  • the ability of the local community to cope socially and economically.

NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino says, “It’s distinctly possible that much of the country will experience below normal rainfall through to the Christmas holiday period, and December temperatures are very likely to remain above average for all of New Zealand and the summer season as a whole.”

Check out your climate on NIWA's hotspot watch.

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News & Alerts

Good Yarn Workshops coming up!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Author: Bridget Frame

Good Yarn Workshops:

  • KAIKOURA - Wednesday 9th May 10.30pm - 2pm Lobster Inn
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First winter storm sweeping the country

midday, 10 April 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

As the winter weather is making itself felt, most recently with tornadoes in Taranaki and Ruapehu, please stay safe and travel only if absolutely necessary.

Treat all lines as live and report power outages to your supplier.

Please ask for assistance if you need it, and keep an eye on your neighbours.

For updates at this stage please refer to https://www.facebook.com/TaranakiCivilDefence/ and https://www.facebook.com/ruapehudc/

Weather updates http://www.metservice.com/national/home.

Pic below of unoccupied home, taken from Ruapehu District Council facebook page.

 

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Keeping an eye on Cyclone Hola

Monday, March 12, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/972915753044201472

NIWA: With Hola passing offshore today, its strongest winds will too!

NIWA's high resolution modelling indicates some gusts to 70 km/h for: eastern Northland, Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel, coastal Bay of Plenty, & Gisborne Ranges, then a bit gusty in Auckland tonight.

 

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What did the Fox Say?

Top 10 Drought Tips from Andy Fox on Hokonui Muster

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Author: LindsayWright

Additional support and options for farmers to consider as they head into winter with lower than expected feed levels following the recent dry spell, enabling them all to forward plan and be proactive about risks ahead. 

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