Farmers should keep a close eye on lambs as a strong southerly front moves up the country.

A cold snap is in store for Hawke's Bay as heavy rain and strong gusty southerlies were expected to hit the region, Metservice meteorologist Claire Flynn said yesterday.

"The showers would begin in the ranges this afternoon and spread to the urban areas by tonight."

The rain was expected to get stronger overnight with the possibility of thunder storms tomorrow.


Temperatures would reach a low of 4C and snow would fall to 400 metres.

Gales were also likely tomorrow but, by Friday, the strong southerlies should ease with snow getting down to 500 metres, Ms Flynn said.

Temperatures were expected to stay at a low of 4C and reach a high of just 11C during the day.

Ms Flynn said weekend was starting to look brighter, with the wind and rain clearing on Saturday afternoon.

"Sunday should be the next fine day for Hawke's Bay."

Hawke's Bay Federated Farmers president Will Foley said farmers would not welcome this cold snap with lambing well under way.

"Hopefully the southerly goes pretty quick, as the newborn lambs would not be able to cope if it lasted too long," Mr Foley said.

However, he did say farmers would be happy if some rain was on the cards.

"Most farmers are looking for rain as we have had a reasonably dry winter and autumn," he said.

"The on-going effect from this means there is not a lot of re-charge in the soil."

He said farmers needed more rain as the moisture was getting soaked up very quickly.

"With the warmer weather and the spring winds arriving soon, we would be very keen for a bit more rain," he said.

By Sunday Hawke's Bay residents, could expect some warmer weather, as temperatures begin to rise again, bringing some fine spring spells.