Warmer than average seas look set to keep winter's scorching end coming as spring arrives in Hawke's Bay.
Sunday temperatures of 21.6C in Napier on Sunday were 3.5C off record-breaking winter heat in Hawke's Bay, but even hotter is on the way as spring arrives.
MetService meteorologist Thomas Adams said the all-time winter temperature record in Hawke's Bay of 25.1C was recorded on June 10, 2016, while this winter's warmest 22C on June 2, is the second warmest winter temperature since 1990.
"There have been measurements in Napier since 1896, although the station has moved around," Adams added.
"If I go back to 1973 at the same location, just an older sensor, there have been several readings over 22C in winter."
The coldest recorded temperature this winter at Napier Airport was at 7am on July 3, where temperatures dropped to -1C. Temperatures dropped to close to -4C in isolated parts of Central Hawke's Bay on the same day.
Tuesday will see highs of 22C and lows of 6C in Napier and Hastings, but a significant drop in temperatures is coming on Wednesday.
While the skies remain clear, a strong north westerly overhead will herald some cloud and developing showers on Tuesday evening.
"The north westerly increases further, reaching severe gale in exposed places south of Hastings overnight and on Tuesday morning," Adams said.
"On Tuesday night the winds turn southerly and things will feel a lot cooler, with max temperatures down to around 12C for a couple of days."
Wednesday is expected to start with showers in Napier, Hastings, Wairoa, Waipukurau and Mahia, before easing off as the day goes on.
"The last of the showers will clear by Thursday morning with a fine day on Friday, with temperatures climbing back up to the high teens," Adams added.
Looking ahead to spring, air temperatures in all regions of New Zealand are most likely to be above average, according to the Niwa seasonal climate outlook for September to November.
In Hawke's Bay, temperatures are most likely to be above average, while rainfall totals are most likely to be near normal.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council principal scientist air Kathleen Kozyniak said the country is experiencing warmer than average seas, which looks set to continue during spring.
"That helps to keep our air temperatures warm, particularly the overnight temperatures," she said.
Rainfall is likely to be near normal across the whole east coast of the north island, while soil moisture and river flows are equally as likely to be near normal or below normal.