Sunny July start expected for Bay coastal areas

By Roger Moroney

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The start of July, the second month of winter, is shaping to be mild and sunny in Hawke's Bay's coastal areas.

Mild enough for the MetService long-range forecast to come up with a relatively balmy 18C temperature for Napier next Wednesday and 17C for Hastings.

After the polar blast which saw temperatures plunge to single figures a week ago, it means a 100 per cent increase in warmth is on the way.

While the next three days are forecast to be dominated by a low temperature system with occasional showers showers and southerlies, it is looking set to clear from Sunday with the arrival of sunshine and light westerlies.

That day will be 15C and sunny, with temperatures forecast to steadily rise over the following four days.

The long-range forecast indicates Monday for Napier and Hastings will be sunny, with light westerly winds and 16C.

Tuesday and Wednesday in Napier will be similar but with 18C temperatures, and Hastings just one degree cooler.

The bright, clear Bay days are likely to be preceded by morning frosts in some areas.

For a long-distance comparison, a check on forecasts for Dublin and Amsterdam, in the mid-summer Northern Hemisphere, shows Dublin at just 17C next Wednesday and Amsterdam drizzly and struggling to reach 19C.

The relatively balmy Bay air on the way will not, however, be shared further south in the Tararuas, with next Tuesday and Wednesday making just 12C and 13C in Dannevirke.

The relative warmth of early July echoes the Niwa seasonal climate outlook for the Bay, which a spokesperson described as "a mild winter with temperatures likely to be slightly above average".

The frosts and clear mornings would pose some motoring issues, however.

Early morning and late afternoon commuters and travellers in the Bay are being reminded by police to be wary of the low sun and frosty conditions.

Mild to heavy frosts were recorded across the region in the past three days and the clear skies they brought with them had created an annual hazard on some roads.

"This is the time of the year when the sun is very low in the sky and people have to be wary of that," Eastern District Road Policing Sergeant Clint Adamson said.

Traditionally, "one or two" road incidents related to the low sun during the clear-sky mid-winter period, although none had been reported this year.

That was also the case when it came to traffic on SH5 between Napier and Taupo. Mr Adamson said some sections of the highway got no sunlight and had the potential to remain slippery all day after frosts.

"We have had no issues up that way yet but drivers need to be mindful of it."

One thing police had noticed was that on days of bad weather and reduced visibility, growing numbers of motorists were driving with their vehicle lights on.

"That message has been getting through, which is good to see."

It was "touch wood" for fire brigade crews in the Bay at this stage, with no call-outs to frozen or burst pipes or hot-water cylinders reported so far this winter.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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