Significant soil moisture deficits continued through much of March in the north and east of the South Island, from Nelson to Otago, as well as in the southwest North Island from Wanganui to Wellington, and in Wairarapa. Rainfall at the end of the month resulted in significant relief for Nelson, central Canterbury, and north Canterbury soils.
Soils in the southern North Island, Marlborough, and the southeast of the South Island were much drier than average at the end of the month.
Soil moisture deficit in the pasture root zone at the end of March (right) compared with the deficit at the same time last year (centre) and the long term end of March average (left). The analysis is done for an average soil type where the available water capacity is taken to be 150 mm.