MetService has issued a strong wind warning for Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty.

Northwest winds are expected to strengthen overnight tonight to tomorow.

Winds may briefly reach severe gale with gusts of 120 km/h in exposed places from late tonight until dawn tomorrow, MetService said.

Winds of this strength have the potential to be damaging, particularly to trees, powerlines and unsecured structures and also make for hazardous driving conditions, especially for tall sided vehicles and motorcycles.

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Heavy rain is also expected about much of the North Island tonight.