First rain, then snow, now severe gales are set to buffet northern Hawke's Bay as it tries to mop up from the week winter well and truly hit.

Wind could reach 120km/h in some parts of the region today as southerly winds sweep up towards Mahia, just 48 hours before a rocket is scheduled to be launched from the peninsula.

MetService has issued a strong wind warning for Wairoa and areas further north including eastern Gisborne south of Tokomaru Bay.

MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said it would be a breezy day for the whole of Hawke's Bay but the northern parts would be hit hardest, particularly between 1pm and 7pm.


MetService said the strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures.

Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles they said.

It follows 95mm of rain falling in 24 hours in Wairoa on Tuesday that closed five roads with flooding.

Papuni Road at 16.6km - Kent Bridge to Lockwood and Waiatai Valley Rd at 6km remained closed at 4pm on Wednesday.

The east coast of the North Island from Napier southwards through the Wairarapa also has a strong wind watch in place where winds could have reached close to gale force.

The watch started at 6am on Wednesday and was in place until 3pm.

Snow fell in Hawke's Bay on the Ruahine Ranges above 500 metres and was heavy above 800m on Wednesday.

MetService issued a snowfall warning for State Highway 5, the Napier-Taupo Road at 10am on Wednesday and said rain may turn to snow or sleet at times.


Hines said this warning will also be in place on Thursday but the snow will be heavier on the Desert Road where snowfall may measure 20cm on higher parts of the road.

The Napier-Taihape Road was closed on Tuesday night as snow fell on the Ruahine Range.

It reopened at 7.45am on Wednesday, but extreme care was advised.

Rain will continue throughout the week but not reach the heavy levels it did in Wairoa on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the rain had subsided and 18.6mm was recorded in the 24 hours to 4pm in Wairoa, 14mm in Mahia, 0.4mm in Napier and 0.4mm in Hastings.

Showers on Thursday could possibly be heavy and will become isolated south of Wairoa in the afternoon as fine spells develop.