Warm, windy night on the way

Powerful but warm winds are heading towards New Zealand, with sustained gales exceeding 120kmh in high places.

Wellington and Cook Strait were in for gusts up to 100kmh tonight as a low hit the South Island and a front extended north, Met Service forecaster Mike O'Connor said.

In Wellington the northerly wind, with rain, was expected to peak about 10pm tonight.

In mountainous areas of both islands, including parts of the Central Plateau and Mt Taranaki, sustained northerly winds were expected to reach 120kmh or more. Gusts would reach ''much higher''.

In other areas around the North Island, including Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa, high winds were forecast tonight.

The low and front was largely expected to clear New Zealand by morning.

Auckland was in for strong winds but nothing on the scale of last week's damaging storm.

But there would still be some showers around tomorrow.

Because the system originated in warmer waters north of New Zealand, temperatures would stay high.

Wellington was expected to reach 14 degrees Celsius today and 15C tomorrow, while Auckland would have a high of 17C with 18C tomorrow.

The Dominion Post