Rain needed to ease dry conditions

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October was another dry month for North Otago with no real substantial rainfall recorded.

Oamaru is in need for a few days of solid rain with things beginning to get drier, while the rest the region is similar.

Hydrological consultant David Stewart said it was a typical October.

“October 2014 was a typical spring month weather-wise. It was quite unsettled in much of the region and westerly quarter winds dominated. Weather systems accompanying these westerly quarter winds brought close to average rainfalls in the lakes area, south and west Otago and as far north as Dunedin Airport.

” In the rest of the area, rainfall was much less frequent with long dry spells in North and Central Otago.”

Mr Stewart said Central Otago and the east coast from Dunedin north were drier than normal.

Waikoura was 19.5mm, (45.3mm 57% below average, while Oamaru Airport, 10.2mm (42.1mm) 76% below average, and Oamaru Town 22.4mm (54.3mm) 59% below average.

Mr Stewart said river flows were also lower than usual.

“River flows were quite low for this time of the year. All were below their long term monthly averages and they generally had a slow decline throughout the month. While no restrictions to irrigation appeared to be in place at the end of October, in the Shag and Taieri rivers flows were continuing to decline.

“If no significant rain occurs in November, irrigation restrictions are likely to be imposed.”

He said it was crucial that farmers in the North Otago area received a decent amount of rain soon as things were beginning to dry up.

“Farmers report the month was windy but also relatively warm. Irrigation was occurring throughout the area, however rain is needed now to ease the drying conditions,” he said.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY