The year's first "winter storm" arrived yesterday, bringing plunging temperatures, heavy rainfall and the occasional claps of thunder to the region.

Although, Hawke's Bay is expected to get off lightly compared with other parts of the country.

Metservice Meteorologist, April Clark said this was the country's first cold outbreak this year and the drop in temperature would be felt.

Read more: Hawke's Bay set to get off lightly compared with other parts of the country
Temperatures to plunge bringing snow to the ranges around Hawke's Bay


A complex low was expected to pass over the central North Island last night.

Yesterday afternoon, a southerly was moving up the Hawke's Bay and rain was expected to spread north.

She said their could be snow lowering to 700m lowering about the ranges last night and couple of centimetres could accumulate on the Napier-Taupo Rd may be affected.

A high of 16C was felt yesterday morning, before it plummeted to 9C in the afternoon.

Clearview Estate Winery co-founder and original winemaker Tim Turvey said the weather was not a concern to them, as they had harvested everything before the rain.

He said they have got about 1 per cent of their grapes which were expected to handle the weather.

"I finished picking everything [on Monday] knowing this was coming through and it is up there with one of the best seasons we have ever had. It will rival 2013 and 2015 for flavour profile and concentration."

Rod McDonald echoed a similar message, noting that despite having about 25 per cent left to harvest, they rain shouldn't have too much of an effect.


"It just means we have got to stop harvesting and wait for the sun to come out again. Everything that we've left through to this part of the season is in really good shape and this is what always happens in Napier so we will ride it out."

Hawke's Bay Fruitgrowers Association president Lesley Wilson said they were looking forward to a few cooler nights, as it helped to bring out the red colour in the apples.

"I know a lot of apple growers won't be picking [yesterday] but we have had really good weather so not terribly behind but we are using every available hour possible, just not [yesterday]."

Federated Farmer Hawke's Bay president Will Foley said the wet weather could actually have had a positive impact.

"There's no young stock on ground at this time of year to be worried about. Any sheep recently shorn will need to have shelter or put back in a shed overnight but with plenty of warning that action will be happening.

"Most farmers will be happy with the rain as it was just getting a bit dry underfoot in places."