It was a spectacular sunrise over Hawke's Bay on Sunday, but one which everyone would have been happy to go without, due to it being caused by the bush fires raging in Australia.

MetService Meteorologist Andy Best said the bright, red colours seen in sunrises and sunsets are caused by smoke haze raging across Australia.

"The smoke particles scatter the red light towards us more than the blue light that we would see in the normal sky."

He said while it is a natural phenomenon, which occurs at both sunrise and sunset, the smoke particles will have enhanced it.

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He said much of the North Island is still covered in the smoke haze.

Meanwhile, Hawke's Bay is looking to have a slightly cooler week than the last, with scattered showers and possible thunderstorms in the ranges.

Best said there would be possible showers on Monday morning, but these would likely clear throughout the day.

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However, there is a risk of isolated showers and thunderstorms developing on Monday afternoon and evening, around the ranges, although these would not affect coastal areas.

He said the whether would also cool off, with 24C forecast for Monday, with an overnight temperature on 13C.

This is after a weekend which saw temperatures in the high 20s both days, and the nighttime low not dropping below 18C on Saturday night.

On Tuesday, MetService is predicting 20C, due to a southerly rolling in behind a cold front, but it was going to be generally fine.

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Temperatures will pick up again on Wednesday to 24C, and by next weekend the region should be back to the high 20s.

Thursday will hopefully bring some much-needed rain to the region.

"That might bring a little bit of relief," Best said.

While meteorologists were predicting thunderstorms for Hawke's Bay, the region got off lightly compared with other areas in New Zealand.

Heavy rain forced the closure of major highways in the South Island over the weekend, including State Highway 1, due to flooding, and also caused havoc for phone and internet systems after fibre cables were cut in the storm.