Tauranga residents yesterday shivered their way through what was the coldest morning so far this year, and weather experts warned the chilly start could well be the end of the golden weather for now.

By 8.30am yesterday temperatures at Tauranga Airport had only reached 6.9C.

MetService meteorologist Ciaran Doolin said while the morning's chill factor was no record breaker - Tauranga once reached an overnight low of 1.9C in 1994 - it was the coolest temperature of the year and had been a long time coming.

"It's certainly the coldest, given that it has been really warm over the past few months," he said.


Niwa National Climate Centre principal scientist Chris Brandolino said the cooler weather might have come as a shock to some people but it really shouldn't have.

"What's been atypical is it hasn't gotten cold until recently. We've had pretty settled weather and warm weather. That was the unusual bit."

To put things in perspective, the first three weeks of May in Tauranga were on track to become the warmest May on record. Tauranga's mean temperature for the month of May so far is 16.3C, Mr Brandolino said.

"That's three degrees above normal."

The mean maximum temperature in Tauranga in May has been 20.3C and the mean minimum 12.3C. Both temperatures are above average for this time of the year, he said.

Mr Brandolino said climate change was no doubt part of the reason.

"It's one of the warmest years on the planet," he said.

Today, a front approaching from the Tasman Sea will sweep across central and northern New Zealand bringing strong winds, rain and possible thunderstorms to western areas including the Bay.