More high winds on way for Hawke's Bay

By ROGER MORONEY


Hawke's Bay, particularly the central areas around the Takapau Plains, has taking a buffeting from high winds over the past two days but there had been no reports of serious damage - although high winds are forecast to strike again today.

Central Hawke's Bay District Council emergency management officer Bruce Kitto said there had been strong gusts but a check of areas susceptible to big winds yesterday revealed no major issues.

"Although we still have high winds to come so will be keeping a watch on things."

MetService has forecast "very strong" westerlies to sweep the lower half of the North Island today with the possibility they could rise to severe gale force at times across Central Hawke's Bay and the Tararua District.

While the winds are expected to ease by evening some blustery westerlies are also forecast tomorrow.

Apart from some fallen branches and bags of recycling left out overnight being scattered along streets, Napier and Hastings had also been spared any major problems.

The strongest gusts recorded on the Takapau Plains late on Monday were 85km/h. A similar gust was recorded at Hawke's Bay Airport, although no flights had been affected. Wind gusts yesterday afternoon were reaching 65km/h, and rising.

People in the affected areas were advised to stay up to date with the latest forecasts.

Police have advised motorists to drive with caution - particularly if towing.

The winds have been whipped up by a cold southwesterly flow that began spreading across the country yesterday afternoon. It brought snow to low levels about western parts of the South Island, and a snow warning had been put in place for many areas including the Desert Road.

Hawke's Bay is set to lose the winds on Friday, with mainly fine weather and 14C temperatures, forecast for the weekend.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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