Gales are now affecting a number of main centres right across New Zealand.
Winds are gale force in Invercargill, Queenstown, Dunedin, Timaru, Christchurch, Kaikoura, Wellington, Napier and East Cape with gusts between 80 and 100km/h.
Earlier today gusts of 160km/h blasted the Rimutaka Ranges but they have eased a little to 125km/h.
The winds will ease in most places tonight.
Tomorrow is looking far more settled across the country as the spring storm moves quickly out into the Pacific. Another blast of strong winds is expected to return on Tuesday.
The Weather Watch Centre has issued a travel warning due to hurricane force winds on the hills around Wellington and Wairarapa.
Winds of 130km/h and gusting to 160km/h will make travel over the Rimutaka Ranges dangerous.
Gales in Wellington are gusting to about 110km/h and motorists are advised to drive with care.
The strong winds, caused by a fast moving spring storm, will ease later this afternoon or evening.
on 1/11/2008 8:09pm
Looks rather Unsettled in Auckland (surprise or no surprise) when it was supposed to be mostly fine today.There wasnt much rain yesterday (a good drying day) and was the best day we had in a week due to the lack of overcast South Westerlies even though rainfall has been low.
on 1/11/2008 7:48am
It was windy from the NW in the early hours of this morning, here but not as windy as I thought it may have been.
I considered the SW change around 2pm was very much more stronger than the NW judging by the dust and twigs of the newly trimmed trees around.