Some Bay of Plenty residents may have found themselves confused while layering up this week as below-average summer temperatures sweep the region.

The last three days have seen temperatures in Whakatāne, Tauranga and Rotorua struggle to climb above 20C and bitter, cold winds blow through.

Metservice meteorologist Andy Best said a low sitting east of the North Island had sent south and southeasterly winds across the Bay of Plenty that caused temperatures to drop.

He said the last few days had seen temperatures fall as much as 5C below average.

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Tuesday turned out to be the coolest, with Whakatāne just reaching 20C, Tauranga at 19C and Rotorua hitting a brisk 16C maximum.

However, as the low moves away, the weekend and early next week were looking to be fine, warm and sunny.

Rotorua should expect 26C and 27C days on both Monday and Tuesday next week, close to 5C above average for January.

Tauranga was getting steamy from Sunday through to Tuesday with sunny 26C days, both temperatures considerably high than average.

While Whakatāne was set to take on 27C temperatures for both Sunday and Monday.

Best said January temperatures across the Bay of Plenty so far had been warmer than average.

This week's low temperatures had local fire authorities warning people that the fire risk was still high regardless.

Pumicelands deputy principal rural fire officer Steve Webb told NZME that the fire risk in the Bay of Plenty was higher than in the Napier area, where a forest fire razed 300 hectares of land last week.

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The heightened risk comes as the Western Bay of Plenty District Council urged residents to conserve water.

Webb said the dry conditions were not uncommon for summer, but the drop in temperatures this year could mislead people to think the fire risk had, too.

"It just takes one person to make a mistake."

According to the NIWA New Zealand Drought Index map, the Bay of Plenty region was not experiencing anything near-drought conditions at this stage.

WHAT'S IN STORE:

Whakatāne

Today - Fine. Southeasterly breezes. High of 23C, low of 12C.

Tomorrow - Fine at first, then partly cloudy from afternoon. Light winds. High of 24C, low of 10C.

Tauranga

Today - Fine. Light winds and sea breezes. High of 22C, low of 13C.

Tomorrow - Fine. Light winds and sea breezes. High of 23C, low of 12C

Rotorua

Today - Fine. Southeast breezes. High of 21C, low of 10C.

Tomorrow - Fine, some morning cloud. Southeast breezes. High of 22C, low of 9C.