[3 February/ Radio NZ Country]

The area around Gisborne has recorded its driest January in 112 years with just 4mm of rain recorded.  Further down the East Coast, Napier has also experienced a very dry month (5.4mm of rain).  The dry weather has been accompanied by more south westerly winds than usual keeping temperatures lower than usual but drying out soil moisture levels.  NIWA meteorologist, Ben Noll, said the climate did not look promising for farmers for the next three months.  Mr Noll added that the East Coast would need a couple of impressive storms to bring at least 200mm of rain for soil moisture levels to recover back to normal levels.