New Zealand farmers rejoiced in mid-April 2013 when rains broke one of the worst droughts in decades. Images from NASA’s Terra satellite compare drought conditions with a healthy landscape.
Much of the country reached drought status in late February and experienced unusually low levels of rain throughout the summer. The situation on North Island, in particular, worsened throughout March. By early April, climate and weather experts had started calling it the worst drought on North Island in 70 years.
The area around Wellington, for instance, saw no rainfall at all between Feb. 13 and March 17. A significant portion of North Island is comprised of grassland that farmers used as pastureland. Most of the pasturelands aren’t irrigated and depend on rainfall.
Image courtesy of NASA.