11 Dec 2010

No drought-breaking rain in sight yet

8:47 am on 11 December 2010

The National Climate Centre says a forecast of normal to above normal rainfall in most regions for the next three months is not likely to be enough to break a drought.

Agricultural climatologist Alan Porteous says there is a higher risk than normal of some regions receiving a week or more's rain in one event and it won't replenish soil moisture levels.

Northland and North Auckland were officially declared to be in a medium-level drought this week.

The Government has also been asked to classify an area stretching from south of Auckland to the Ruapehu district as a drought zone again.

But there are growing concerns about other parts of the country.

Mr Porteous expects a normal to wetter than normal summer for most areas, but he says, the timing of the rain will be crucial to breaking the dry conditions.