Cyclone Donna to track close to New Zealand (+4 Maps)


Cyclone Donna continues to weaken today as it tracks south, the air pressure has risen considerably at the storm will likely lose it's Tropical Cyclone status within the next 24 hours or at some point on Thursday.

While Donna weakens as she drifts south from the warm air and seas of the tropical South Pacific she'll restructure into a new system in the New Zealand area - and latest guidance we rely on and trust suggests a bigger, deeper, low will form east of the North Island on Saturday, but be drifting away from us by then hopefully.

Based on data today most computer modelling places the centre of Donna just east of New Zealand - not a direct hit like Ex-Cyclone Cook.  This isn't to say a direct hit can't happen, but that the world's best thinking suggests it won't. Modelling we trust here at WeatherWatch.co.nz has been consistent about this track for over a week now.

If there wasn't a large blocking high to the east of New Zealand WeatherWatch.co.nz believes Donna would pose no threat to New Zealand and quickly track by well to the north east. The high, however, is encouraging Donna to track closer to Aotearoa and therefore it brings a general threat - such as heavy rain, gales and dangerous beach conditions in the north east of the North Island.

Here's the latest so you can see for yourself how things may pan out...

Possble different tracks for the "centre" of Donna / GFS, US Government

Midnight Friday - Rain Map - shows Donna at her closest to New Zealand (based on modelling out today, Wednesday). If this map is accurate almost all of Donna's rain will be falling at sea.

Midnight Friday - Wind Map - shows the worst of the winds will also be offshore however East Cape and other eastern parts of the North Island may be exposed to blustery winds for a time.

9am Saturday - Swell Map - Surf's up! Dangerous beach conditions for many in the east but expert surfers may like this. We advise most people to stay away from the waves, rocky shorelines and out of the sea on Saturday as Donna tracks by due to dangerous rips, currents and random large waves.

- WeatherWatch.co.nz