Dramatic storm sign of things to come

By Victoria White -
1 comment
As the skies opened over the Birdwoods Great Dog Show SPCA fundraiser, the brollies came out for judges Louise Stobart (left), Michelle MacKay, Annie Dundas and Alistair Denton. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN
As the skies opened over the Birdwoods Great Dog Show SPCA fundraiser, the brollies came out for judges Louise Stobart (left), Michelle MacKay, Annie Dundas and Alistair Denton. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN

The weekend's freak storm in Napier and Hastings - when hail fell, and blue skies darkened - could herald a turbulent week ahead.

Saturday's storm cast a shadow over an otherwise fine day at about 2pm, when it moved over Hawke's Bay.

MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said the storm was "quite quick and dramatic" - the result of a pocket of cold temperatures which had been moving over the country.

As well as bringing snow to low levels in the South island earlier this week, the cold snaps "caused a few more things to kick off" when they reached the North Island, Mr Hines said.

This included Saturday's localised storm when thunder boomed and lightning crackled over the Napier, Hastings area.

Mr Hines said some areas were also hit with hail, which was unusual for this time of year.

Hawke's Bay Fruitgrowers Association president Lesley Wilson said the storm had been quite intense in the Twyford, and Haumoana areas.

While apples were not expected to have been damaged, stone fruit growers were out yesterday checking their crops.

"Growers across the region were waiting, and watching the weather with interest, but it was fairly localised," she said, adding it would be easy to get thin crops of any damaged fruit.

Unison relationship manager Danny Gough said their operations had not been impacted.

Although this week will begin with sunny days and high temperatures, cloud and rain is expected from Thursday as a front moves in.

At this stage, Mr Hines said it would not be as bad as the front which brought Saturday's storm - as it was moving from the West, Hawke's Bay could be more sheltered than other areas.

Stormy weather or not - with temperatures in the 20s for most of this week, Hawke's Bay is expected to be one of the warmest spots in the country.

This will begin with a high of 25C today, coupled with fine weather, some high cloud, and light winds.

There will be light northwesterlies tomorrow, but an otherwise fine day. Wednesday will also be mainly fine, with variable high cloud, northwesterlies, and the week's high of 26C.

The front will begin moving in on Thursday, bringing some high cloud and scattered rain.

Showers are expected on Friday, with winds changing southerly, and a high of 19C.

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