Winter to land one final punch in region

A blissfully sunny weekend saw Waikato folk peel off their jumpers, but MetService warns a southerly blast mid-week will bring back a chilly bite.

A low from the Tasman Sea is headed towards us from Australia, bringing with it rain and wind for the next two days.

Every rain cloud has a silver lining, and meteorologist Liz Walsh said temperatures will remain warm as a northeasterly briefly moves in. "You can keep wearing your T-shirt."

Temperatures will peak at 15 Celsius today and remain 9 Celsius overnight. Heavy falls of rain tomorrow will produce a cold change as a sour southerly takes up residence in Waikato.

"On Thursday we will really feel the change at night. It will be a little unsettled but it comes right in the day."

The coldest temperatures usually strike at the end of July and the beginning of August, Walsh said, though frost may still linger some mornings.

"We are slowly crawling out of the cold at this time of the year. It will become more spring like as we head into September but the weather can be quite changeable."

Blue skies should return on Friday and Saturday, Walsh said.

No weather warnings were in place for Waikato yesterday, though a severe weather watch had been issued for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and Rotorua.

A period of heavy rain is expected about the upper North Island from this afternoon, with isolated thunderstorms possible.

Meanwhile, garden centres are bracing themselves for a rush as spring sets in.

Mitre 10 Mega will start pushing their garden services from Thursday, said Amanda Newby, marketing co-ordinator for the Hamilton store.

"We normally see a busy period onwards from now until about Father's Day."

She said the garden department had been busy following last weekends "fantastic weather".

Waikato Times