Hawke's Bay's Indian summer ends

By ROGER MORONEY

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Hawke's Bay's Indian summer is about to give way to the first real cool snap of the year, with just 14C forecast for the end of the weekend.

A southerly-driven low pressure system of ridges and troughs is moving slowly eastwards over the country and across the Bay and is set to carve yesterday's 28C temperatures in half by Sunday.

The front will effectively end a spell of March weather described in NIWA's climate summary for that month as "very warm".

March had been dominated by anticyclones (highs) which created average temperatures nearly 1.5 per cent above a normal March, and leading to the Bay getting only a fifth of its average rainfall for the first month of autumn.

That led to "extreme" soil moisture deficits, more than 130 mm, across much of the North Island where a declaration of total drought was announced on March 15.

Change is literally in the wind however.

Metservice has predicted rain and southerlies across the region today, although the reduction in temperature was only likely to be a modest one, with 22C expected.

But, as meteorologist John Law said, the temperatures are set to continue to fall over the next four days.

"It is going to feel much cooler as we head into this weekend, especially when compared to the really warm temperatures we saw over the long Easter holiday."

Tomorrow will see a continuation of welcome showers across the region which will linger into Saturday, along with temperatures around 18C.

 Mr Law said some falls could be "significant."

Then on Sunday, while the sun is set to shine the temperature is expected to plunge to a maximum of just 14C during the day, and just 7C overnight.

The southerly system is set to linger through the following week, and while skies will be clear the first chills of what Mr Law described as an "average" Autumn would linger until around next Wednesday.

The long-range forecast for the Bay then shows a rise to 18C and continuing sunshine through to Friday.

While the air will continue to cool, the long-term forecast through the rest of autumn and into early winter is not an unpleasant one, with NIWA predicting temperatures likely to be above average across the North Island.

Rainfall for the April to June period as a whole is likely to be in the near normal range for all regions.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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