For the first time since February, New Zealand’s hydro-electric lake storage has risen above average levels.
Provisional data released by M-co indicates that national hydro storage reached 100% of average for the time of year on Sunday 21st October 2007. Total storage levels had been persistently below average since February, when they plunged dramatically.
Above average inflows began replenishing the storage lakes on September 30th, remaining so until October 9th. A short dry spell intervened until the 14th when good inflows resumed. A wet start to October in many locations in both main islands is the most likely cause, rather than abrupt snowmelt.
The spring thaw has been slowed in some areas by fresh snowfall being recorded during at least two cold snaps during October. This has allowed some small, local skifields in the South Island to extend their season for club members. A later thaw is an added bonus that could allow hydro lakes to recover further as summer approaches.
[Compiled from data supplied by M-co.]