Monthly rainfall totals have been near or below normal for much of the calendar year with the doubling of average rainfall in June being the only respite. Since June, soil moisture has been mostly near or below median levels for the time of year and both groundwater and river flows consistently below normal. Rainfall accumulation minus potential evapotranspiration (PET) so far this hydrological year (from July 2020) was significantly down on historic values.
The significant rainfall week beginning 9 November 2020 has meant the Heretaunga Plains and the south coast have more than doubled their average November rainfall total, and the only area to not yet reach its November average is the Ruahine Range (68%). Soil moisture levels have jumped to field capacity for the time being and rainfall accumulations are approaching normal levels. It will take time to see if groundwater levels significantly improve.
Hawkes Bay Regional Council has a number of resources on their website which Growers may find helpful: