Hawke's Bay woke to its coldest morning of the year on Thursday as winter's breath finally starts to show itself.

Lawns and car windshields were layered with lashings of frost as temperatures dropped to -0.7 degrees Celsius in Napier and 0.6C for Hastings at 8am, MetService meteorologist Stephen Glassey said.

The Takapau Plains plummeted to a low of -3.5C around the same time.

"The lowest temperatures are sometimes recorded at this time of the morning as it's had the whole night to cool down," Glassey said.

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The weather should stay "fine" with temperatures looking to slowly increase throughout the day; both Napier and Hastings have a forecasted high of 14C late afternoon.

Winter has arrived in Hawke's Bay. Photo / Warren Buckland
Winter has arrived in Hawke's Bay. Photo / Warren Buckland

As the northerly winds move through, conditions look to improve slightly tomorrow, with a high of 18C anticipated for Napier, and 17C for Hastings.

Saturday, the shortest day of the year (Winter Solstice), will see Napier and Hastings dip to a 15C high, with high cloud and westerly winds change expected.

Winter Solstice is expected to be five hours and four minutes shorter than its Summer Solstice in December, Glassey said. Sunset is set for 4.55pm on Saturday evening.

"From here, we get closer to the spring equinox and the days get longer," Glassey said.