Parts of Wairarapa and the Kaikoura coast received between 30mm to 50mm in the 24 hours to 11am yesterday. PHOTO/METSERVICE

BECKIE WILSON

beckie.wilson@age.co.nz

An early Christmas present never hurts, and nor did the rain that fell across the region on Wednesday night.

Wairarapa was one of the driest spots in the country by Wednesday, but in turn received the highest amount of rain over the 24-hour period up to 11am Thursday.

While some rural areas received over 50mm and others no more than 15mm, the steady overnight rain was welcomed by farmers who were worried about their summer crop growth.

Most the region received over double the amount of rain in 24 hours, compared to the amount that had fallen since the start of November.

Castlepoint and Ngawi recorded the region’s highest rainfall in the 24 hours, measuring 43mm and 40mm respectively, according to Metservice.

Castlepoint Station owner Anders Crofoot tipped 52mm from his gauge in Castlepoint, and 53mm from the gauge at the Otahome end of the station.

“[It] should be helpful to get our summer crops going,” Mr Crofoot said.

Martinborough recorded 18mm, Masterton airport received 17mm, with the Rimutaka Hill Summit measuring 34mm of rain.

Ponatahi sheep, beef and crop farmer Mark Guscott said the 32.6mm received overnight was an “early Christmas present”.

The recent rain broke Martinborough’s 36-day dry spell, and Masterton’s 14-day dry spell.

Since the start of November, Masterton airport only recorded 8mm of rain.

“So, receiving 17mm yesterday means we received twice as much in the past 24-hours compared to the month of November,” Metservice meteorologist Amanda De Monte said.

Mrs De Monte said there was no correlation to the driest areas in the country having received the most rain.

“This was really just a front that was very much needed by a lot of the country, and a good little bout of rain for the parts that were feeling the desperation state of dryness,” she said.

But today and into the weekend, the region’s weather will return to the higher temperatures.

A high of 26 degrees Celsius was expected for Friday, and 28C and 29C for Saturday and Sunday respectively.

“It’s not going to be until Monday that Wairarapa may see some more rain.”

Despite the rain fallen and expected, the region was still tracking for a drier than normal December, she said.

The rain lifted water restrictions on a number of Wairarapa catchments, bringing the restrictions down from 11 catchments to seven by 12pm Thursday.