'Crazy old day in the Bay': Hawke's Bay struck by quakes, lightning and hail

Lightning strikes Hawke's Bay.
Lightning strikes Hawke's Bay. Photo credit: Corena Hodgson

It's been a wild day in Hawke's Bay with the area first facing a deluge of heavy rain, hail and lightning, before being rattled by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake.

The bad weather was described as a "small but highly active front" by WeatherWatch, with the bulk of the thunderstorms and downpours affecting Hawke's Bay from around 3pm to 5pm.

Hail in Napier.
Hail in Napier. Photo credit: Glenn Baker

Just after 6pm the area was shaken by a "strong" quake which struck around 30km east of Wairoa, according to GeoNet.

At least nine aftershocks were also recorded, ranging in strength from magnitude 1.9 to 3.4.

Hawke's Bay Civil Defence summed up the day in a Facebook post this evening.

"Rain, thunder, lightning and hail, all topped off with an earthquake - it's been a crazy old day in the Bay!"

Hail in Napier.
Hail in Napier. Photo credit: Jason Barnes

Residents in the region also took to social media to express their thoughts on the day.

"Hailstorm AND an #eqnz today! Jeepers," wrote one person on Twitter, using the hashtag for earthquake. 

"This day just keeps on giving," wrote another.

Lightning in Napier.
Lightning in Napier. Photo credit: Jason Barnes

And the wild weather isn't over for the region. According to Met Service, a front is forecast to move northeast across the country on Wednesday, bringing strong wind watches to various places, including Hawke's Bay.

Westerly winds are set to change, with squally southwesterlies forecast for the area in the afternoon. 

"Winds may approach severe gale in exposed places with both the westerlies and southwestleries," Met Service said.

The strong wind watch was in place between 9am to 9pm.