Region to avoid worst of cold snap

By Sam Hurley

Hawke's Bay will evade the bite of winter for the time being as a cold snap moves closer to New Zealand.

WeatherWatch forecasts another winter chill moving in, which will hit the "reset" button for winter temperatures.

MetSevice duty forecaster Mike O'Connor said Hawke's Bay may receive a colder spell on Monday as the westerly air mass moves north, but that the region would miss the majority of the bad weather. "Hawke's Bay will stay pretty much under that northwest flow," he said.

"It's actually going to be quite warm over the weekend at around 17C to 18C but alot of that depends on how strong the winds are.

"We are not going to see anything like the cold snaps that we saw last month."

Napier and Hastings are forecast to receive some brief morning rain today and tomorrow, with gusty northwesterlies and a high of 19C. WeatherWatch head weather analyst Philip Duncan said snow and much lower temperatures were forecast following what had been a stunningly warm week for some parts of New Zealand.

"We've had highs of 20C in some eastern areas and over the next 48 hours more highs in the late teens and early twenties are likely - mainly in eastern areas."

He said a fresh surge of westerlies would move up the country on Friday and more would reach the North Island on the weekend. Northern New Zealand is likely to be furthest from the strong winds while eastern and southern areas of both islands may receive periods of gale force winds in the coming days.

A WeatherWatch report to Fonterra last month said a colder change was likely around July 9 to 13.

"At the time we made that prediction some models were predicting a "stormy" southerly. However, it's now looking far less aggressive - but still noticeably cold," said Mr Duncan.

Snow may fall to low levels on the ranges in Southland and Otago around Monday and Tuesday then could affect the North Island's Desert Road late Tuesday and into Wednesday. Snow is also predicted for the Ruapehu ski fields.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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