Severe winds, gusting to gale-force at times, and heavy rain made for a miserable day across the Whanganui region yesterday.

The winds gusted up top 90 km/h bringing torrential rain and some brief hailstorms.

Coupled with huge waves they were all part of a winter weather smorgasbord Mother Nature delivered, including some thunderstorms later in the afternoon.

Those west and northwest winds brought down power lines on No 3 Line between Wakefield St and Kaimatira Rd cutting power to more than 60 homes in the suburb for about two hours.


And the high winds caused some high voltage lines to cross on Papaiti Rd cutting power to more than a 100 homes.

Whanganui Fire Services station officer Jes Sorensen said apart from those incidents there were no other reports of damage.

However, MetService was predicting the strong winds to hang around overnight at least and was also forecasting snow down to 900m on the Desert Rd overnight.

The other warning concerned the storm conditions offshore with waves expected to reach 6.5m from Waitotara down to Otaki and not ease off until midday today.

Civil Defence authorities said there was a potential for waves that big to cause some coastal erosion and were warning the public to stay clear. But that warning didn't stop sightseers heading to Morgan St to watch the big swells smash into the North Mole.

In other parts of the country winds gusted up to 140km/h in the hilltops around Wellington with the strongest gust of 163km/h recorded at Manukau Heads at 3am yesterday.