Temperatures have fluctuated by more than 10C in the Bay this week and that trend is set to continue today. The region was the hottest place in the country on Tuesday with a March record of 33.1C.

Yesterday, Hastings reached just 22C and Napier 23C. However, MetService meteorologist Emma Blades said a front moving up the country would bring more inconsistent temperatures. "The heat was set to return in full force today with both cities expected to reach 32C.

Temperatures should fall again on Friday, with Hastings tipped to reach 25C and Napier 26C.

Miss Blades said severe northwesterly gales were expected to batter the Bay from tomorrow evening until early Saturday.

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"The winds could gust up to 100km/h."

As the front passed, a southerly snap should set in, accompanied by cold showers which would subside early on Saturday.

Federated Farmers provincial president Will Foley said February was usually a hot, dry month with little rainfall. That had continued in the first week of March.

"Farmers are certainly on the lookout now for the first good autumn rains to kickstart pasture growth again," Mr Foley said.