Cyclone Donna hurdles around Vanuatu, New Caledonia now at greater risk (+Maps)

UPDATED 9:45am Saturday NZT --- Severe Cyclone Donna remains a Category 3 tropical storm with central air pressure down to 968hPa.

Donna seems to have a bit of a groove on, bouncing north and south in a wave fashion as it snaked just north of Vanuatu yesterday to lie north west of the island nation this morning.

Donna's 'wobbling' positive news for Vanuatu, remains a serious situation this weekend

UPDATED 9:33pm Friday NZT--- Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna remains category 3 status with air pressure of 975hPa at the centre but is wobbling north and south as it tracks around Vanuatu.

Winds may gust up to 250km/h according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (US Government, which provides official global data for tropical storms).

Weather Video: Big high for NZ + Donna tracks south this week

A very large high pressure system is moving into New Zealand bringing settled, calm, conditions to most places. It may be a bit gloomy in the west though, of both islands, as this high isn’t a perfectly sunny one for everyone. However it will lock in a calm weekend for many areas as Thursday’s cold blast drifts further east away from the eastern North Island.

Cyclone Donna: Immediate storm threat to Vanuatu, possible rain threat to NZ next week (+Maps)

Tropical Cyclone Donna formed east of Vanuatu Wednesday night and was Thursday morning (NZT) upgraded to a Category 2 cyclone, likely to reach Severe Category 3 status by Friday morning.

Donna poses a serious threat to Vanuatu with the tracking likely to impact much of the nation as the storm intensifies, bringing flooding rains, damaging winds and damaging storm surges.

Special Weather Video: Cyclone Donna heads to Vanuatu, then maybe NZ as rain event

In this special update we track both the upcoming weekend weather and the sudden development of Cyclone Donna which is about to hit Vanuatu, likely as a "Severe" cyclone over a number of days.

Meanwhile at the same time in New Zealand we're dealing with an incoming anti-cyclone for Friday, the weekend and early next week.

NZ: Tropical trouble may return next week with heavy rain

As we approach our second cold snap this week it may be hard to focus on a potential tropical event in 10 days time - especially when it may not even pan out. However reliable computer models are picking an interesting set up that could produce a narrow but tropical line of very heavy slow moving rain over the country at the end of next week.

Big offshore low creates big swells, brushes NZ

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A sizeable low from the sub-tropics is tracking about as close to New Zealand as it will get, bringing dangerous coastal conditions despite lovely weather in many northern beaches.

Australia: Darwin about to be drenched by another tropical low

Weather forecasters are predicting a tropical low currently building strength in the Gulf of Papua will bring the Top End yet another burst of wet weather ahead of the start of the dry season.

In what is shaping up to become the second wettest wet season on record, Darwin has so far exceeded the normal rainfall levels in every month since October.

Weather Video: Is more sub-tropical rain coming?

High pressure dominates New Zealand for the next few days but the tropics are not settling down yet with some models showing another tropical low developing this Sunday and drifting towards northern New Zealand next week.

Cook makes landfall, races south

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FINAL LIVE UPDATE 12:52am Friday --- Ex-Cyclone Cook made landfall in Bay of Plenty around 7pm Thursday between Tauranga and Mt Maunganui and as of 12:50pm the Cook's rain bands were starting to track over Cook Strait with the centre of the low possibly on the Wairarapa eastern coastline.