MetService has issued a severe weather warning for gale force winds in parts of Hawke's Bay.

The weather forecaster says as a strong, unstable westerly flow covers the North Island, westerly gales are expected to begin overnight and continue during Friday.

It issued a warning at 8.46pm on Thursday night that west to northwest gales in exposed places in eastern areas south of Napier are expected to become severe, with gusts of 120km/h or more possibleuntil early Friday afternoon.

MetService says winds of that strength may damage trees, powerlines, and unsecured structures, and also cause hazardous driving conditions, particularly for high-sided vehicles and motorbikes.

Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD