Parts of New Zealand have had an unusually hot, dry summer so far. In the North Island, the east coast and central areas have had temperatures in the low 30s or high 20s. This is the same for most of the South Island, except for the West Coast. The West Coast always has different weather: at the end of December and beginning of January, the West Coast had heavy rain for days and days.
Our usual summer is often cloudy, wet and windy. New Zealand has a moderate climate with summer temperatures in the low 20s in most places.
While people on holiday have been enjoying the hot summer temperatures this year, children back at school find it hard to study when it so hot.
The lack of rain has caused a serious problem for farmers because the grass does not grow. Some dairy farmers now have to buy hay for their animals, at a cost of $800 a day or more. Farmers also have to sell their animals for meat, earlier than usual. The economy of our country depends on farming, especially dairy farming.
Hot temperatures and strong winds have also helped to spread forest fires in many places. Listen to January 24th 2013 to hear about fires.
• unusually – opposite of usually. Note pronunciation
• moderate – not too hot and not too cold
• climate – average weather over a long period, including temperature, rain and wind.
• lack (n and v) – not enough; the lack (n); soil lacks water (v)
• hay – dry grass