Winds could reach gale force in Hawke's Bay on Wednesday, with MetService issuing a strong wind watch for the region.

The watch lasts from 9am to 6pm on Wednesday, and is specifically for coastal areas.

South to southwesterly winds may approach severe gale in exposed places during this time.

MetService meteorologist Tui McInnes said a front was moving up the country bringing rain and snow for areas of the South Island.


He said the front was dragging cold, strong winds behind it, which would affect exposed areas in Hawke's Bay.

He described the lower North Island as acting like the bow of a ship, pushing the wind to the coast, with the central areas avoiding the weather.

He said Hawke's Bay would not be the worst affected area, as the direction the wind is coming from means it is coming across the Wairarapa.

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However, he described the front as having enough "oomph", to also hit exposed areas on the East Coast.

Along with the strong wind, Hawke's Bay will see a temperature drop.

MetService is predicting a high of 15C for Hawke's Bay on Wednesday, five degrees colder than Tuesday's high of 20C.

The cold weather will be short lived however, with temperatures rocketing back up to 21C on Thursday.


While nicer than Wednesday, the weather will not completely clear. McInnes said there are several more fronts on the way.

However, he said the Central Plateau would act as a blockade, meaning Hawke's Bay is protected from the worst of the weather.

Thursday will be mainly fine, with a chance of showers.

The long weekend will get off to a damp start, with afternoon rain expected on Friday, and a high of 17C.

By Saturday, the weather is expected to clear, with a high of 21C.