Hawke's Bay can expect chilly and typical winter weather for the rest of this week despite early forecasts for gale-force winds.

The winds reached a peak of 65km/h on the Takapau Plains near Dannevirke soon after midday yesterday, while a Hawke's Bay Airport peak of 46km/h had been reached about an hour earlier.

More was forecast for Southern Hawke's Bay today, with a definite morning chill in the air with a backdrop of snow on the Kaweka Ranges, although the temperature on the plains is not expected to go below zero this week.

Maximum temperatures in Napier and Hastings yesterday were around 14C, and were expected to peak slightly warmer from today to Friday, rising to a 22C maximum forecast for Hastings on Saturday.


There is also a forecast for strong winds in the mountains, tipped to hit 125km/h on Saturday atop Kaweka J, the high-point at 1724m.

In Northern Hawke's Bay there was a forecast for a few showers about Mahia Peninsula today, clearing in the morning and becoming fine, with strong southwesterlies which were expected to ease in the afternoon, turning northwest in the evening.

At sea, a coastal gale warning was in force, northwesterly to 25 knots, rising to 35 knots westerly overnight and easing to southwest 25 knots later today, including a southerly swell of 4m offshore easing.

Meanwhile, despite rain in the past four weeks, most areas of Hawke's Bay have this year had well below historic averages for moisture, and much of the area north of Napier less than half the July average despite forecasts for above-average rainfall for the month.

But the 56mm record at Hawke's Bay Airport is 12mm more than the amount recorded at the airport in the whole of July last year, while the 59mm of rainfall in Hastings is about the same for all of July last year.