The sudden rain that has hit Tauranga has followed an unusually dry May and is a sign that winter is coming, according to a climate scientist.

Wet weather set in over the last few days in Tauranga and MetService issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain this morning in the Bay of Plenty region.

Niwa climate scientist Nava Fedaeff said the month until the rain had been unusually dry and a "miserable start" to winter was to be expected.

Until the rain had set in, Tauranga had been heading for the second driest May on record, while Te Puke was headed for the driest, she said.

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The usual amount of rain for the month of May was 110mm, measured at the Tauranga Airport. Until the recent rain, Tauranga had received 19mm of rain - less than 20 per cent of the normal amount.

There was unsettled weather across the country, with the rain looking to ease on Wednesday before becoming heavier towards the weekend.

The temperature throughout the month had been relatively balmy, sitting in the upper teens to lower twenties.

She also expected the temperature to drop as the chill of the first day of winter set in at the weekend.

A Tauranga City Council spokeswoman said the council had received no reports of wet-weather damage or incidents.


Weather forecast

Today
20C High
12C Overnight
Periods of rain, chance heavy with thunderstorms, easing to a few showers late afternoon. Northerlies turn fresh northwest.

Tomorrow
20C High
11C Overnight
Fine, but chance shower before dawn. Westerly breezes dying out afternoon.

Thursday
20C High
14C Overnight
Cloud increasing. Northerly developing afternoon.

Friday
18C High
9C Overnight
Rain developing early, clearing late. Northwesterlies easing.

Saturday
15C High
6C Overnight
Showers developing early. Westerlies changing southerly late.

Sunday
14C High
6C Overnight
Becoming fine early. Southwesterlies.

Source: MetService