Gales and rain forecast
A severe gale warning has been issued for Wellington tonight but a warm if windy day is in store for Christmas in the capital.
Northwesterly gusts would hit 120kmh in exposed places including Wellington Airport, although flights seemed to be running smoothly this evening.
The winds had potential to disrupt travel plans as well as topple high-sided vehicles, MetService forecaster Hordur Thordarson said.
MetService has issued a severe gale warning for the wind, which would peak tonight and ease by morning.
However, Christmas Day would still be windy with a ‘‘typical Wellington northerly’’ starting the day and a southerly coming in the evening with rain.
But until the southerly came it would be a clear-sky day and the temperature in Wellington was expected to reach 22degC.
Wairarapa was also in store for high winds tonight, with the south of the region covered by the gale warning.
In other parts of the country, a severe weather watch has been issued for Buller, Canterbury, Marlborough, Taranaki and Southland with a strong northwesterly wind expected to bring heavy rain this evening.
Heavy rain is expected in Taranaki overnight with strong gales over the centre of the country.
Severe northwest gales are possible in inland parts of the South Island north of about Arthur's Pass, easing overnight, MetService said.
The Dominion Post