Strong winds are in store for Wellington, the Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay as a southerly front moves up the country ''like a freight train''.
Winds would continue to strengthen ahead of the front as it approaches from Canterbury, MetService Daniel Corbett said.
''Active thunderstorms will form ahead of the southerly change which will barrel up the east coast of the South Island like a freight train.''
The front will move through Christchurch this evening and Wellington around midnight.''Winds gusts could get up to around 100kmh later today early tonight.''
A weather watch has been issued in Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and Canterbury.
In those regions gales were expected to become severe, gusting 120kmh and easing early Friday morning.
Winds of this strength can damage trees and powerlines, and make driving difficult, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.
Temperatures were expected to drop after the front, Mr Corbett said.
Wellington could expect a hight of 21C today and 15C on Friday.
The outlook for the weekend was brighter, with an anticyclone expected to bring mostly fine and dry weather.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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