Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Dry January records lowest rainfall since 1879


A January rainfall distribution map

Dry January records lowest rainfall since 1879

Record low rainfall across the region during January saw Karori Reservoir record the lowest rainfall since 1879 and Wainuiomata Reservoir lowest since 1890.

Karori received only 3.8mm of rain during January compared to the average of 81mm, while at Wainuiomata Reservoir the monthly total of 1.5mm is even more extreme and is less than two percent of the average rainfall of 106mm.

Rainfall and river flow records collected by the Greater Wellington Regional Council are showing the effect of the recent warm and dry weather conditions on river flows and rainfall across the entire region. All rain gauges operated by GWRC in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Wainuiomata have received less than six percent of average January rainfall amounts.

The exceptionally dry start to the 2015 year has added to the already dry conditions that prevailed throughout October, November and December when rainfall was well below average for most parts of the region.

The main rivers in the Wairarapa and the Hutt River have all dropped to low flows with many already falling to levels expected only once in every two to five years. The lowest flows in rivers and streams across the region typically occur later in February to April so with plenty of summer still ahead there is an increased chance of a more extreme low flow scenario developing later on.

The Kapiti Coast plains have also seen very little rainfall over the month, with totals of 1mm at MacKay’s Crossing, 2.5mm at Te Hapua and 7mm at Otaki. Less than ten percent of normal January rainfall has fallen in the Tararua Ranges meaning the rivers in the area have been in recession the entire month. The Otaki River and Mangaone Stream have already fallen below their average low flow while the Waikanae River is maintaining a relatively higher level.

January rainfall in the Hutt Valley has been less than five percent of average, with totals in normally high rainfall areas at Kaitoke and the Akatarawa Hill Road summit being by far the lowest since records began in 1951 and 1980 respectively. The flow in the Hutt River at the end of January is the lowest since March 2013 and of the magnitude that occurs on average only once every two to five years. The Wainuiomata River is also trending towards its average low flow condition.

The Wairarapa has experienced similar record low rainfall conditions during January which has followed on the back of the three previous months where drier than average conditions prevailed. A single rainfall event on 21st January dumped over 20mm of rain in less than two hours from around Masterton to Featherston, but apart from this there has been very little rain to start the 2015 year. Rainfall at the Tanawa Hut gauge, which is about 15 kilometres north of Tinui, totalled 8mm – the third lowest January total since 1956 and the lowest since 1981.

The Tararua Ranges and foothills have seen ten to twenty percent of average rain during January while north and eastern parts of the Wairarapa have received between only eight and twenty percent.

The result of the continuing dry conditions is that soil moisture deficits are much more severe than normal for this time of year and rivers such as the Ruamahanga, Waipoua, Waingawa, Waiohine, Mangatarere, Tauherenikau and Kopuaranga have fallen to levels seen only every few years. Water take restrictions are currently in force for many Wairarapa rivers and streams.

The low flows being experienced in rivers across the region will be beginning to have an effect on river health and ecosystems. In some areas toxic algae bloom warnings have been put in place.

While the unsettled weather forecast for next week may bring some rainfall relief, it is not clear whether there will be sufficient to generate the sort of flushing event needed to scour algae from the river bed.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Todd Muller Needs To Own The Privacy Leak Scandal


Whenever a political scandal breaks, party leaders have two basic options. They can confess to being in boots and all, and try to brazen it out : nothing to see here, move on. This tended to be the John Key approach. Very hard to pull that off in this case, given that it involved violating the privacy of sick New Zealanders for party political gain.
The other option is to claim innocence of this terrible, no good, highly regrettable “error of judgement” and apologise profusely for the sins of others, while absolving your own good self of any responsibility. This has been Todd Muller’s chosen path.... More>>
 

Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>


Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>

ALSO:


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>

ALSO:




Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Labour Will Extend Loan Scheme 'lifeline' For Small Business

Labour has announced its plans to extend the Small Business Loan Cashflow Scheme and spend $162 million on a waterway clean-up package. More>>

ALSO:


Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels