10 Sep 2014

South Island dry spell expected to break

5:55 pm on 10 September 2014

Parts of the South Island are experiencing an unusual pattern of dry weather. Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell and Alexandra have basked in warm sunny days with no rain for up to 30 days.

Milford Sound has not had any rain for 22 days - though that dry spell might be about to break.

Milford Sound has not had any rain for 22 days - though that dry spell might be about to break. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Milford Sound has not had any rain for 22 days, a situation the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said happened only about every two-and-a-half years.

NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino said it was not unheard of for the inland towns to have long dry spells but in coastal areas like Milford Sound and even Timaru and Oamaru, which have not seen rain for nearly 30 days, it was quite significant.

Queenstown holds the rain-free record in the area, staying dry for 59 days straight from July 1952.

However, the current spell may be on the way out.

Mr Brandolino said a low was poised in the Tasman and it was expected to bring rain by the weekend.

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