Drought Frequency and Drougth Length will increase
The most likely scenario sees farmers in most North Island regions, as well as those in eastern regions of the South Island – especially Canterbury and eastern Southland – spending 5-10% more of the year in drought by the middle of the 21st century. This means that if you spend an average of 10% of your time in drought at the moment, by 2040, you might expect to spend as much as 20% – although this figure will naturally vary from year to year.
Between 2070 and 2090, that overall trend will intensify to the point where most of the country – with the likely exception of the West Coast of the South Island – will experience more time in drought. The strongest evidence for increased future exposure to drought is for the Canterbury Plains where the climate is projected to shift towards a more drought prone setting even under very mild future climate change. An equally strong signal is for no significant change in drought exposure on the West Coast of the South Island.