Hawke's Bay residents embraced a splash of sunshine and a warm 17 before temperatures began to cool down once again.

The region experienced a cooler overnight temperature of 3 last night and today's high is expected to reach a weak 8.

Overnight temperatures will bring frosty conditions as they range between 0C and 2C.

Tuesday would see a definite improving trend, as the ridge of high pressure would establish over the entire country.

Advertisement

On Wednesday, the ridge would still cover much of New Zealand, but partly cloudy conditions would feature over most areas.

Showers about the east coast of the North Island were expected to clear, while a trough moving up the South Island would bring showers to Fiordland, and to Southland for a time, with brief showers also along the east coast of the island.

Over the North Island, showers were forecast about the east coast with fine weather and morning frosts elsewhere.

MetService meteorologist Andy Best said it was not all bad news, with a ridge of high pressure establishing over much of the country expected to persist until late Thursday.

"Ahead of this trough, we expect northwesterly winds to develop from Thursday afternoon over the southern half of the South Island. The northwesterlies are forecast to strengthen during Friday, and may reach severe gale from about Wanaka southwards."

"Strong northwesterly winds are expected to spread over all of New Zealand on Saturday, with rain and gales forecast for the lower half of the North Island."

Best said the strengthening of the northwesterly winds later in the week would make it feel as though things would be slightly warmer than usual for this time of year.

Sunny skies were forecast for the Hawke's Bay region for the rest of the week with some showers expected during the weekend.

Advertisement

New Zealand Transport Agency media manager Dan Parker advised drivers to drive to the conditions, particularly during the mornings where the roads could be icy.

"Allow greater following distances on frosty and wet days," he said. "Be prepared for any delays – dress for the conditions, have warm blankets, bottled water and emergency rations in your vehicle."