Friday, March 15, 2013

Endless Summer

Listening to: Foals - Holy Fire (2013)

Back in January we had our big fine spell of 10 days with no cloud or rain, and we all thought that was a big thing. Five and a half weeks ago I blogged about getting a month's worth of rain overnight to end it.

We haven't had any real rain since.

Today we in Wellington joined the rest of the North Island in officially being declared a drought zone, with water use restrictions applying from tomorrow. We've come close to this once or twice in my memory, but this is the first time I can recall it actually happening: even with the restrictions there is only an estimated 20 odd days supply remaining. There is some rain forecast for this weekend, but it isn't hanging around; given how dry everything is it will mostly run-off anyway before the next high takes over. It's the complete opposite of last summer. Long fine days with clear skies and little wind, and lots of evening swims at the beach. Last summer we barely got outside, except when we went camping and merely got wet somewhere other than home. Weirdly though we haven't used our barbecue all season - we have been too busy going to other peoples. I've gotten so used to the weather that for a while I stopped looking at the forecast.

This NIWA sourced satellite image quite dramatically shows the difference between the summer of 2011/2012, and 2012/2013:

About halfway up the east coast in those images is Hawke's Bay, traditionally one of the driest parts of the country anyway. Here is the view from Te Mata peak in central Hawke's Bay on New Years day, before the drought really took hold.

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