Soil moisture

Soil moisture

Marlborough had temporary relief from early December rainfall but significant soil moisture deficits were apparent there again from mid month, and similar dry conditions have spread throughout most of Otago and Canterbury.

Soil moisture was well below average for the time of year in eastern Northland, coastal Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, and parts of Wairarapa.

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