The driest soils compared to normal for this time of the year are found in coastal Wairarapa, where the drying trend continued during the past week.
Soil moisture levels are likely to increase along the West Coast and in parts of the lower South Island during the next week, while most other areas will see little change.
NIWA forecaster Ben Noll says much warmer than average temperatures will spill onto the South Island on Saturday, and continue on Sunday and Monday.The heat will peak in the North Island on Sunday and Monday, but above average temperatures are likely to persist for much of the first 10 days of the month.
However, hotspots remain in place across western Northland and Aupouri Peninsula, a small portion of central Waikato, southern Manawatu-Whanganui, and much of Wairarapa and southern Hawke’s Bay. In the South Island, soil moisture levels generally did not change significantly in the past week.