Finally, some nice weather! But watch out - it might not last much longer

TVNZ weatherman Dan Corbett with the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS

Raw: Huge swells smash against Wellington's coastal roads as damaging winds whip region

A day after a "severe" 5.1 earthquake, the lower North Island's been shaken with wild weather.

Severe gales gusted up to 120 km/h earlier today, and strong winds continue about Wellington and the Wairarapa.

Some powerlines were brought down, windows were blown out and signs came loose from high-rise buildings.

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But despite the conditions, the Fire Service says they've only received a "handful" of weather-related callouts in total.

MetService is forecasting spring-like conditions for much of the South Island and southern North Island during the outlook period.

A front is expected to move onto the South Island during Saturday and reach the North Island on Sunday.



Drivers warned to take care as strong gusts hit South Island roads

Extra care is needed if driving on several South Island highways today as strong winds continue to hit the area.

A series of 'dust devils' plagued the area this afternoon, taking out power poles, flipping trailers and damaging windows. Source: 1 NEWS

As a front moves up the country, seven highway warnings are in place from Culverden in North Canterbury to Milton in Otago.

Christchurch Transport Operations' Steven Mann urged drivers to take extra care with strong winds forecast to hit State Highway Eight Timaru to Twizel, State Highway 80 Ben Ohau to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, State Highway 79 Rangitata to Fairlie, State Highway Eight Otago Levels to Milton, State Highway 73 Springfield to Arthur's Pass and State Highway Seven Springs Junction to Culverden/Lewis Pass.

Mr Mann said this warning applies especially to motorcyclists or people driving high-sided vehicles including caravans and trucks.

A further warning is in place for surface flooding on State Highway Six Ross to Haast on the West Coast.

Heavy rain is forecast for Buller District, West Coast, through until mid-afternoon, with 50 to 80mm of rain expected to fall.

Yesterday afternoon the Central Otago town of Cromwell was hit with a series of small 'dust devils' - which are formed from the heating of the ground allowing surface air to rise.

Southern police and the fire service were called to several incidents after severe winds damaged fences and windows, ripped roofing from houses under construction and overturned trailers.

Residents in the Cromwell area in Central Otago have been urged to stay inside after a series of small dust devils hit this afternoon, causing one person's trampoline to fly through the air.
Residents in the Cromwell area in Central Otago were urged to stay inside after a series of small dust devils hit, causing one person's trampoline to fly through the air. Source: Supplied

Police asked motorcyclists and heavy vehicle drivers to avoid travelling through the Cromwell Basin and said some power poles had been brought down by the weather.

No one was injured.