Cold spell to replace rainfall

By Sonya Bateson

The wet and wild weather is set to end today, bringing with it the start to a cold and dry spell.

Rain hit the Western Bay over the weekend, with heavy showers on Saturday night as well as thunder and lightening.

MetService said 29mm of rain fell in Tauranga on Saturday and 7.4mm had fallen by 6pm yesterday.

Gusty winds were also predicted overnight but this was to end today, said MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett.

A gale warning was issued along the Bay of Plenty coastline yesterday and severe gale warnings were issued for Auckland and Northland.

"[Today] will be squally with some showers and the winds turning southerly, then all the yucky stuff clears through the afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday are heading into fine days, although a little bit cooler at 17°C to 18°C during the day and cooler in the mornings than you're used to. I don't think anyone will need to dig out the ski boots."

He said while there was a cold spell in the south of the country, by the time it reached Tauranga it only lowered temperatures by 2°C or 3°C.

"You may need a few extra logs on the fire on Tuesday and Wednesday nights as the temperature will get down to single numbers, which you haven't had for a while but it will be sunglasses weather during the day."

Local farmer Stuart Roberts said the paddocks were greening up and grass seed was starting to grow after the heavy rain.

He said the lower temperatures this week would slow down the grass growth opportunities but overall there had been a big improvement since the long, dry summer spell.

Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty provincial president John Scrimgeour said conditions had been good since the heavy rain two weeks ago.

"It's been pretty mild, great growing weather. We just had that bit of rain on Saturday night and again [yesterday] afternoon. Things are not drying out as fast now, they're progressing quite nicely. It's fortunate it's been fairly warm until now, it's given the grass a kick away. The grass will tolerate cooler conditions but not cold so it should continue to grow."

Mr Scrimgeour said unlike the southern parts of the country, if the Western Bay had a cold snap things would warm up again.

The burst of heavy rain brought serious flooding to a number of areas in the Western Bay two weeks ago. This weekend's rain brought three minor flooding related callouts throughout the region.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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