Soil moisture

Soil moisture on 30 April

End of month rainfalls relieve dry soils

The very dry soil conditions that developed in eastern and some inland regions during early April were alleviated by some timely rainfall late in the month. Notable were significant rainfalls along the east coast of the South Island from Kaikoura to south Otago. Falls of over 60 mm were also recorded in some locations in inland Otago.

In the southern half of the North Island, and across most of the South Island, soil moisture levels were higher at the end of April than at the same time last year. However, Marlborough and parts of the east coast of the North Island remained drier than normal.

Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of April 2011

Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of April (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of April average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.