By Andrew Ashton.

With hundreds here still without power following an overnight storm, residents and motorists are being warned to expect heavy rain and more high winds.

With a deep low forecast to move southeast wards across central New Zealand delivering heavy rain and strong winds to northern and central New Zealand, the Met Service has issued a Heavy Rain Warning for the area around the Tararua ranges, with up to 50mm expected to accumulate at six-hours at times, until 9pm.

A Severe Weather Watch is also in place for the remainder of Hawke's Bay.


The MetService says from around midnight Thursday to late morning today. East to northeast winds could become severe in exposed places.

Winds are forecast to turn northwesterly between early afternoon and late evening, and could become severe in exposed places during this time.

However, people are advised to remain up to date with the latest forecasts in case the Watch was upgraded to a full Warning, or other areas added.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has also issued a warning for drivers to take care travelling on State Highway 2 to Takapau, due to high winds.

The MetService had already this morning recorded average wind speeds in Napier of 40kmh and 54kmh.

Central Hawke's Bay District Council also says trees are down on a trio of local roads.

Motorists driving on River Road, Homewood Road and Pourerere Road have been advised to take care.

"Motorists are advised to take care when driving as there is a possibility of more trees falling on the roads due to the high winds", a council spokesperson said.

If motorists notice trees down on other roads they are advised to inform the council so they can be cleared.