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Frost forecast for Waikato

MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 15:45 23/10/2012

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Hamilton residents are expected to wake to a 1 degree frost tomorrow morning, following a wet and cool long weekend.

The prediction of frost has sent Hamilton berry grower Peter Molloy into protection mode as he looks to shelter his fruit from damage.

''We have taken measure to protect the crops, but it will be nothing compared to the hail storms and multiple frosts we experienced about three weeks ago,'' he said.

Last year Mr Molloy said his Morrinsville Rd business, Ye Olde Berry Farm, was open for 26 weeks and ''it rained for 19 of those weekends''.

''We are hoping to have a much better season than that,'' he said. ''The long range forecast is for wet and cold conditions to the end of October and then drier, warmer conditions over summer - which is perfect for us.''

Those predictions are also welcome news to residents across the region who are feeling water-logged after a wet long weekend.

On Sunday, 25mm of rain was recorded in Hamilton with more than 30mm falling at high country weather stations. In Paeroa 7.4mm of rain fell in one hour alone, according to Metservice forecaster Philippa Murdoch.

And while the next few days look relatively fine, Miss Murdoch said the changeable pattern of spring was set to continue for the foreseeable future.

''The weather patterns we are experiencing are not unusual for this time of year - it's what we would expect during Spring,'' she said.

Fine but cool weather is forecast for today and tomorrow with a period of late drizzle expected in the region on Thursday night. Miss Murdoch said the Waikato could expect long fine spells over Friday and Saturday with cloud increasing and showers forecast for Sunday.

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