Farmers could be in for tough summer

Farmers may be in for a tough summer if the North Island's dry Spring weather continues into Summer.

It's been the driest Spring on record for many parts of the North Island, including the capital where rainfall has been only 45 percent of the seasonal average.

NIWA Climate Scientist Georgina Griffiths says the dry weather could start causing headaches for farmers in the next few months.

"Soil moisture levels across the entire North Island are well below normal for the time of year.

"They're particularly bad in southern Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa right now, and also the Nelson region. So it does have ramifications for the farming community."

Georgina Griffiths says while the North Island has been unusually dry, the south and west of the South Island have experienced a wetter than usual Spring.

"Marlborough's been quite dry, as has North Canterbury. But because of the south-westerlies we've experienced this spring, the west and south of the South Island has been unusually wet.

"So we're seeing dryer (weather) up in the North Island, and wetter (weather) down in the South Island."

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