Rural Monthly Outlook

Special Edition Rural Information

Issued 17 October 2017

Due to the exceptional rainfall accumulations seen this year in some regions, MetService has been providing additional mid-month information to the rural sector. Recently, a combination of spring westerlies and High pressure on the weather map has brought a drier period to many areas, with a subsequent drying of the soils. This is likely to be the last Special Edition for 2017.

Recent weather patterns

The weather has finally started to settle during the first half of October. The first half of the month has been dominated by westerly winds, with the notable exception of a deep Tasman Low on 7th and 8th October. The Low produced significant rainfall for the north and east of both Islands. In contrast, mobile fronts embedded within the westerlies have produced brief rain or showers for western locations, but totals have been significantly lower than seen during the winter period. High pressure prevails this week, producing a welcome drier period.

Recent soil moisture levels

Soils became saturated at most locations far earlier than normal this year, and maintained there through winter and early spring. However, in the last fortnight,soil moisture has reduced in eastern regions of both Islands, as is common at this time of year under the traditional westerly regime. Soil moisture levels in western areas mostly remain in the near-saturation zone.

Recent temperatures

Temperatures during the first half of October have maintained on the positive side of the ledger, most markedly for inland and western parts of the South Island. Looking ahead, above average temperatures are signalled right across the country next week.

Bottom Line

Recent westerlies and High pressure has produced a brief, drier reprieve for most regions. Soil saturation has reduced somewhat in eastern regions. The easiest way to receive growing information and maps with a rural focus from MetService is by email, it is free to sign up by following the link at the bottom of this page.