Cold, windy front bears down on Hawke's Bay

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CHILLY BLAST: Hawke's Bay Regional Council receptionist Lyn Bowker braved the wet and windy weather yesterday in Napier. Photo/Warren Buckland.
CHILLY BLAST: Hawke's Bay Regional Council receptionist Lyn Bowker braved the wet and windy weather yesterday in Napier. Photo/Warren Buckland.

The Hawke's Bay region is in for severe gales and chilly temperatures this weekend as a cold front blows across the country.

MetService meteorologist Cameron Coutts said a cold front would hit Hawke's Bay this morning, bringing strong winds and dropping temperatures down to 16C during the day.

"We're talking morning showers but this next front today will be quite a cold one and will bring cooler weather, even more so than yesterday."

Mr Coutts said the Bay would experience a "surge" of southwesterlies early today, as well this evening through to tomorrow morning.

Temperatures were also set to drop as they did yesterday, said Mr Coutts adding that Napier's temperature dropped six degrees in the space of two and a half hours about midday on Thursday.

From tomorrow until Monday westerly lows should push temperatures as low as 13C during the day and two degrees during the night, setting up the Bay for some good frosts, he said.

Yesterday afternoon MetService issued a severe weather watch for Hawke's Bay and the surrounding areas.

Central and southern New Zealand were forecast to have west to southwesterly gales, with a possibility of severe gale westerlies in Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay this morning.

The gales were expected to ease off in the middle of the day before starting again this evening through to tomorrow morning.

A small number of electricity users were without power for about four hours yesterday after a sharp storm in the early afternoon cut power to about 3000 homes, businesses and other sites mainly north and west of Napier.

Supply company Unison spokesman Danny Gough said the bouts of wind and rain winds started cuts, caused by trees and branches interfering with lines, from about 12.15pm.

The areas affected stretched mainly from Puketapu areas north of Napier, supply being restored to the bulk within a short time.

Just after 1pm an estimated 600 customers were without electricity in the Puketapu area towards the outskirts of Taradale, and another 300 in the Esk Valley area further north.

Soon after 4.30pm Mr Gough reported 23 customers were without electricity in Arapaonui Rd, and 4 were still affected in the Chesterhope area.

It was likely trees or branches had interfered with the supply in the Puketapu-Taradale area, in which supply was quickly rerouted, but the Esk Valley outage was understood to have been caused by a tree falling across the lines in the area of Hill Rd, near Bay View.

Earlier in the day, a cable fault, thought to be unrelated to the weather, caused a power cut in a small area of Havelock North and the temporary closure of the township's public library.​

MetService advised those in the Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay south of Napier and the Tararua District to keep up-to-date with the weather forecast in the event that parts of the weather watch were upgraded to warnings or further areas were added.

Mr Coutts said snow may fall on the ranges tonight, with the possibility of the odd snow flurry on the Napier Taupo Rd.

As of 10pm last night there were no road snowfall warnings for the Napier Taupo Rd.

Those wanting more information can visit www.metservice.com.

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