Soil moisture

Soil moisture

Dry soils extending into the deep south

Soils in the eastern South Island continued to be drier than normal through December, and abnormally dry conditions extended further into Southland during the month. Northland and parts of the south of the North Island were also drier than average at the end of December, contrasting with wetter than normal soil (some soils at field capacity) through western and central North Island regions.

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.