The emergence of what Weatherwatch forecaster Philip Duncan described as "three or four lows" may signal the end of Hawke's Bay's summery late autumn and a blustery, cooler reminder that the first day of winter is now just a fortnight away.

The first of the lows hammered parts of the country on Monday with Christchurch and western parts of both islands getting the worst of it as roofs were lifted, trees felled and slips reported - although Hawke's Bay effectively dodged a bullet despite wind gusts early yesterday morning hitting near-gale strength.

Winds between 50-61km/h are determined as 'near gale'.

Gusts of just over 50km/h were logged across Napier and Hastings and a fast-moving active trough passing the country today is set to get the wind meters rising again - to possible gale-strength in places, particularly exposed parts of Central Hawke's Bay.


Winds between 62-74km/h are logged as gales.

Mr Duncan said the trough was likely to bring heavy rain to the west and high winds to the east.

Unlike in the south, there were no wind-related incidents reported to the Fire Service in Napier and Hastings, although there was work for clean-up crews after several large palm fronds came down along Kennedy Rd.

There will, however, be at least one more mild taste of the Indian summer tomorrow.

Mr Duncan said things would "calm down" for the day and Napier and Hastings could enjoy sunshine and 22C, although some strong wind gusts would linger.

"But things ramp up again on Friday," he said, and that meant more consistent rain than the 1.5mm that fell over Napier on Monday night and the 0.8mm over Hastings.

While Friday was stacking up to be 23C there were showers and strong winds in the mix while the weekend in the Bay has "typical autumn" stamped all over it. Showers are forecast for Saturday as strong westerly winds, turning to south-westerly, arrive and Sunday is set for rain and just 16C - with the start of next week also likely to be wet according to long-range forecasts.

"It is quite a big change from the warm subtropical lazy summer weather we have been seeing lately - this is kind of the stormier side to autumn."

At the end of May last year a large low pressure system coupled with strong southerlies brought a storm to the eastern coastline which saw temperatures drop and waves up to 6m rolling in between East Cape and North Canterbury.

Napier's Marine Parade beachfront walk and cycleway was left covered in washed-up debris.