Meat & Livestock News

Impending Drought Looms Over Cyclone-Hit Regions

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has sounded the alarm over the imminent arrival of drought conditions in various parts of the North Island, notably in regions such as Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti. These areas, already grappling with the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, are on the cusp of facing potentially one of New Zealand’s most devastating droughts.

Chris Brandolino, the principal scientist for forecasting and media at NIWA, underscores the unusual early onset of dry conditions. Typically expected in November, the dry spell is anticipated to make its presence felt as early as October. This shift is linked to emerging weather patterns that hint at the early arrival of El Nino. 

Despite New Zealand being in its astronomical winter, the regions are experiencing an unusual dry spell coupled with fluctuating temperatures.

In a proactive response to the impending drought, a collaborative effort between NIWA and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has led to the introduction of a ‘drought prediction tool’ available on the NIWA website. This daily-updated tool does not serve as a weather forecaster. 

Instead, it offers valuable insights into potential weather themes and the level of dryness expected in the next 35 days, aiding in better preparation and mitigation for the forthcoming dry conditions.