13 Apr 2020

Rain in Northland still not enough while year's first wintry blast hits elsewhere

9:15 am on 13 April 2020

Drought-hit Northland farmers are desperate for more rain to turn around a dire drought.

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Parched Northland paddocks during the drought in February. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Nearly 20 millimetres fell last night and further showers are forecast for today in a region that has not had any significant rain since Christmas.

A MetService forecaster said the rain front passed through quicker than expected.

Federated Farmers Northland branch president John Blackwell said stock and town supply water was low and some farmers are already getting dangerously low on feed that was supposed to get them through the winter.

Blackwell, a sheep farmer, is warning the region's farmers need more than a single downpour to turn things around.

But he said today's rain would help the farmers who have re-seeded pastures.

Elsewhere in the country, the balmy autumn days many regions experienced through the start of the pandemic lockdown are ending, with a wintry blast hitting most most regions over the next two days.

Heavy rain warnings have been in force for the West Coast of the South Island, the Southern Alps, Otago headwaters and northwest Nelson Ranges.

Winds up to 120 kilometres an hour buffeted the Remutaka Hill road and Wairarapa, as well as Wellington and Marlborough overnight.

MetService forecaster Kyle Lee said the South Island would get this year's first significant snowfall today.

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