Hawke's Bay farmers are heaving a sigh of relief as much-needed rain saturates the drought-stricken region.

Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay president Jim Galloway said the Queen's Birthday rain was a "decent amount".

"This is real rain, making a real difference," he said.

"We've already had 21mm this morning [Monday] and we'll probably get 20mm more. It means a decent amount of rain can go into the roots, and decent rain and decent temperatures mean grass growth.

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"The gentle rain gets the soil into a state where it opens the ground up, as opposed to a heavy downpour which removes the top layer of soil."

MetService meteorologist Tom Adams said for much of Hawke's Bay the heaviest downpour on Monday was around 10am.

Starting midnight until 2pm Wairoa had received 7.8mm, Napier Airport 24.4mm and Hastings 23.4mm.

Galloway said for immediate grass growth the rain had made a difference.

"Right now we are in such a deficit it will take a long time to get back to normal, it's almost like having an overdraft, but the rain will hopefully get us out of trouble," he said.

"The temperatures have been good for grass growth as well and we are hoping they stay around the 10 degree Celsius mark.

"The heavy frost last week damaged the grass, but the warmer temperatures this week have helped.

"But people still need to keep reassessing where they are in terms of feed supply and demand, and think ahead."

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At 2pm the temperature in Napier was 15C and 14.4C in Hastings. Adams said it was expected to go up to 17C in Napier and 16C in Hastings.

In both Napier and Hastings the overnight low was expected to drop to 13C.

"The rain will ease tomorrow," Adams said.

"And cooler nights can be expected in both Napier and Hastings on Tuesday."

In a freak act of nature, however, the highs in both areas were expected to be 21C, despite a southerly blowing through.

"The winds will turn southerly overnight, but because of the low pressure system over the country it will take warm air with it and around it."

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The overnight lows on Tuesday are expected to be 6C in Napier and 5C in Hastings.