27 Dec 2009

Damp holiday weather misses the spot

2:50 pm on 27 December 2009

The cold front that has been affecting some of the country's popular holiday spots has missed many of the areas most in need of rain.

MetService said on Sunday that up to 100 millimetres of rain had fallen over the previous 24 hours in some areas of the country, particularly to the west and north of the South Island, and the bottom of the North Island.

Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson, says the heaviest rain has missed the areas that need it most - Central Otago, Hawke's Bay and Northland.

Mr Nicholson says the Clutha Valley in Central Otago is the driest it has been since 1933, and farms there need at least a day of reasonably heavy rain to encourage grass growth.

The rural fire authority is urging holiday makers in dry areas to be aware of the risk of fire.

National rural fire officer Murray Dudfield says dry areas such as Hawke's Bay and Northland have yet to receive any rain, though parts of Central and North Otago and Wairarapa have received some showers.