Sunshine, clear skies to stick around for long weekend

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FINE WEATHER: Tauranga can expect a high of 15C.
FINE WEATHER: Tauranga can expect a high of 15C.

It's good news for those hoping for a bright Queen's Birthday weekend, as the sunshine is forecast to last through to early next week.

A high-pressure system pushing over the country was bringing fine and settled weather conditions over both islands with some cloudy patches in a few areas.

MetService meteorologist Leigh Matheson said: "[The high] is a good strong one, and it's going to stay around for the long weekend.

"There's a bit of a chilly start - but that's to be expected for this time of the year ... and it's a fine night. It's clear skies pretty much over the whole country."

Tauranga can expect a temperature high of 15C with clear blue skies and a low of 6C over night.

On Sunday and Monday, blue skies were predicted to bring a high of 16C and a low of 6C on Sunday night and 9C on Monday, with light winds on both days.

Tuesday will be again be fine, with 16C high and an overnight low of 11C.

Meanwhile, police were urging motorists to think "safety first" this weekend.

"Many will be looking to get away for the long weekend, and with the lower temperatures and unpredictable weather, more planning is needed when driving in winter conditions and spending time outdoors," national road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally said.

"It only takes a split second to lose control of a vehicle in wet or icy conditions. Our roads are unique, they are challenging and they are demanding. It's crucial that motorists drive at the right speed for the road and the conditions," he said.

Mr Greally said travelling too fast for the conditions remained a contributing factor in about a third of all fatal crashes.

Police would be highly visible out on the roads this Queen's Birthday weekend, focusing on high-risk driving behaviour using a mixture of prevention and enforcement activities.

Speed cameras would be positioned in high-risk crash areas and set to enforce a reduced speed threshold of 4km/h over the weekend, he said.

Police officers will use their discretion and will be targeting those not taking the driving conditions into consideration. They will also focus on seatbelt non-compliance, cellphone use, and driving while impaired.

Transport Agency journey manager Liam Ryan said thousands of people were expected to hit the roads in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region this weekend.

"If everyone plans their travel in advance, and thinks about the best time to get on the road, it will ease stress and reduce the need to hurry, making for a safer and more enjoyable journey."

Land Search and Rescue personnel urged people to follow the outdoor safety rules to ensure they and their loved ones remained safe if heading to remote locations.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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