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Second driest January for Auckland

Thursday 31 Jan 2013 5:50 p.m.

Auckland has seen very little rain this month - in fact it's the second driest January on record.

But the dry run's forecast to run out this weekend, and for some that's not a moment too soon. Auckland is so dry even the sheep on Mt Eden look annoyed, choosing the road over grass.

There's only been 6mm of rain this month, compared with an normal January rainfall of 61mm.

“The reason we've had fine dry fine spell is this very large area of high pressure that's been locked in place, stopping all the other systems from moving in from the west,” MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett says.

Green grass has turned to brown. A total of 19 gardeners at the Auckland Botanic Gardens have had to water their hearts out.

“It's mainly the younger plantings we're keeping an eye on, established trees we won't worry as much, but the more tender plants we keep an eye on to make sure they're not suffering too badly,” Botanic Gardens curator Brooke Stark says.

A fire ban is in place, and dam levels are down - dropping several metres in the last week alone. It's the second lowest January rainfall on record. The lowest was in 4.1mm in 1974.

But nothing lasts forever. According to the MetService, Auckland should be getting some rain by Sunday.

“I think many people are enjoying the hot weather - we'll get a bit of rain, it won't solve all the problems but at least people can look up an go, ‘oh, that's different’,” Mr Corbett says.

One difference will be an increase in mosquitoes. Their eggs have been sitting above the waterline so once it rains, expect to get bitten by more than just the sun.

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