Much of Hawke's Bay is expected to have to batten down the hatches again today, with forecasts of wind gusts up to 120km/h.

In a severe weather warning issued early last night, national weather agency MetService said the westerly gales were expected to return late today, particularly in exposed places from Southern Hawke's Bay to Napier.

Some rain was expected in the western ranges in the afternoon with scattered rain in the east in the evening and the winds were expected to increase tomorrow. MetService was also expecting snow on higher-level roads.

The region was buffeted by winds throughout yesterday, providing a challenge for volunteer firefighters in two incidents in central and southern Hawke's Bay in the afternoon.


Members of the Elsthorpe Rural Fire Party and the Otane Fire Brigade were called at 1.32pm to a grass fire at the side of Elsthorpe Rd.

The Ormondville brigade was called at 5.44pm, as a fire threatened to burn out of control on a property of the Takapau-Ormondville road.

At about that time, the strongest recorded gusts of the day in Hawke's Bay were being felt in Wairoa District.

The strongest gust of about 165km/h was recorded at Mahia at 5pm.

The wind was being blamed for an incident at Waihua on State Highway 2, south of Wairoa, in which power lines were reported by motorists to be arcing just before 6pm, resulting in the Wairoa Volunteer Fire Brigade being called.

Some homes in the Raupunga-Waihua area were understood to have been without electricity for more than two hours.