Wrap up warm and drive safe.

That's the message for people in Rotorua over the long Queen's Birthday weekend

Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said the weather transitioning from autumn to winter was being called a "seamless seasonal segway," as a strong low front conjured up "active and energetic" weather across the country.

After an abnormally warm May, Mother Nature was now out to "play ball" as the winter chill set in, he said.

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The Bay of Plenty, however, was relatively sheltered and would fare far better than Christchurch or Wellington, which would bear the full brunt of the seasonal change, he said.

On Saturday in Rotorua, there was the possibility of showers, but the weather would not turn out to be anything "too extreme," he said.

He expected Sunday and Monday to be dry but chilly as the sun would "pop out," but the wind would likely cause "wind chill', making the temperature feel colder than it was.

Inspector Brent Crowe, Bay of Plenty Road Policing manager said as winter driving conditions set in, police were reminding all road users to drive to the conditions and take extra care out on the roads.

He said there are a few extra steps people could take to ensure they are safe on the roads, especially when it is raining.

"Firstly, if it's wet enough to put your wipers on, put your headlights on as well, for the benefit of you and other drivers."

He also urged drivers to slow down.

"It will reduce braking and reaction time required and gives you a better chance of retaining full control of your vehicle should an emergency situation arise."

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Inspector Crowe encouraged drivers to keep a safe distance to the vehicle in front, as drivers need more stopping distance when it's wet.

"And of course, every time you get in a vehicle, rain or shine, don't forget to buckle up," he said.

He said police will be out on the highways over the Queen's Birthday weekend monitoring driver behaviour so urged people to drive in a responsible manner and take breaks on long trips.

"Everyone has a role to play in keeping our roads safe," Inspector Crowe said.

Meanwhile, Water Safety New Zealand called for people to take extra care around rivers and waterways.

"Anyone heading out into the outdoors for a walk, a hike, to hunt or to fish needs to be careful around rivers and other waterways" Water Safety New Zealand chief executive Jonty Mills said.

He said rivers running at high levels were extremely changeable, unpredictable and dangerous.

"Rivers generally account for a third of all preventable drownings and last year the deadliest activity was accidental immersion," he said.


Weather Forecast

Today
14C High
6C Overnight
Rain developing morning, turning to occasional showers, all with possible squally thunderstorms and hail. Northwesterlies

Tomorrow
10C High
2C Overnight
A few showers clearing late. Westerlies.


11C High
1C Overnight
Becoming fine early. Southwesterlies dying out.

Monday
12C High
4C Overnight
Fine, evening cloud. Westerly breezes.

Source: Metservice