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NZ Dairy Season Kicks Off with Reasonable Weather Outlook

06 August 2018

NEW ZEALAND - Dairy cows around the country tend to freshen in the month of August and grass growth becomes important as production ramps up with warmer weather.

It was only last December when large parts of the country were shocked by the dry and exceptionally warm weather. This year, in contrast, looks to be headed in a slightly different direction. The latest and updated every ten-day seasonal rainfall and temperature outlook is for benign conditions through October.

The slightly drier monthly forecasts for Northland through the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and the Manawatu and down the west coast of the South Island and into Southland might be welcomed. In most of these areas the forecast for August is for between 10 and 25 per cent less rainfall than normal.

Meanwhile Southland and most of the eastern half of the South Island and parts of coastal Taranaki and from Wellington up the east coast to East Cape may expect nearly normal (plus or minus 10 per cent) rainfall. The mean monthly temperature for August is forecast to be between 0.25 and roughly 0.75 degrees C above normal which is not excessive and will certainly spur grass growth. Some parts of eastern Otago are expected to be only slightly cooler than normal for the month of August.

For the months of September and October the downscaled CFSv2 forecast for the country looks changeable. The current September outlook is for drier conditions to persist in the Waikato through the South Island and with near normal rainfall in Northland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty and through Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa.

October currently looks to be near normal for much of the North Island and down the east coast of the South Island with slightly drier than normal conditions prevailing through parts of Taranaki and the Manawatu.

Temperatures in September are looking likely to be slightly cooler in Northland and the east coast of the North Island and slightly warmer from Auckland south to Taranaki and through to Wellington. Much of the South Island looks likely to be moderately warmer than normal with some areas over 1.0 degrees C above the average for the months of September and October.

Regionally, much is being said about the exceptional drought occurring in Australia. The team at ExtendWeather has developed new SPI, SPEI and SMRP (soil moisture ranking percentile) outlooks for the world.

The eastern part of Australia is showing signs of a continued exceptionally low soil moisture through December for much of interior Southern Queensland, New South Wales, northern Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. This is a reasonably large area of the productive South East of the country and this looks to like it might greatly impact wheat and other rainfed production and pasture growth.

Conversely, there are no signs of either drought or moderate to severe soil moisture stress in the models for New Zealand through December. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and release another update toward the middle of August.

ExtendWeather is part of a larger weather, sub seasonal/seasonal and climate risk forecasting, modeling and consulting group at CLIMsystems Ltd. Our team has developed innovative products and services for application around the world. If you wish to have access to the forecasts and the new ExtendWeather Viewer sign up for a trial or discuss options with our team.

For a three-month preview of the rainfall and temperature outlook for New Zealand, please click here.

TheCattleSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock



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