The week ahead + the latest on the tropics

A big high is going to dominate the country this week bringing a return to sunny, settled, weather for many regions but a chance to really notice what has changed since last week.

NZ getting "lucky escape" from monster cyclone

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Severe Tropical Cyclone Atu is roaring into New Zealand waters today packing sustained winds of almost 170km/h and gusts to 205km/h.

The first outer bands of the cyclone are now reaching the upper North Island as high cloud but the centre of the low remains about 900kms to the north east of Northland.

Cyclone Atu still severe, Cyclone Carlos hitting Aussie again

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As of 7:50am NZT there were two tropical cyclones active over the New Zealand and Australia region.

The biggest, by a long shot, is Severe Tropical Cyclone Atu, currently moving into New Zealand waters. 

It can clearly be seen on our satellite map (to the right of the page) directly north of New Zealand.

Severe Cyclone Atu still category 4

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Severe tropical cyclone continues to move towards New Zealand but the storm is still predicted to pass well to the east of the North Island.

As of this evening the storm is still packing winds of 175km/h with gusts to 215km/h and remains a category 4 cyclone.

The central air pressure is 946hPa.

Cyclone Atu heading south

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Cyclone Atu is today beginning the process of clearing the main tropical islands as it heads south towards the east of New Zealand.

Atu is expected to peak in 24 hours time, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre, with winds averaging 205km/h and gusting 250km/h.

As of this morning Atu's winds were sustained at 170km/h.

Atu: Too close for comfort + latest maps and stats

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Severe tropical cyclone, the fifth named storm to enter New Zealand waters this summer, is going to track very near to the North Island - but not near enough to cause problems predicts

The cyclone, which today reached Category 4 status, is on a path that will see it track close to the North Island's east coast.

VIDEO: Severe Cyclone Atu's track towards NZ

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Head weather analyst Philip Duncan talks about the tropical cyclone Atu, it's current status and just how close it will come to New Zealand.

Also, which beaches will be worse affected by Atu's swells?

View the video below...

Cyclone Atu now Category 4 (+Maps)

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As predicted by Severe Tropical Cyclone Atu is continuing to intensify with the Fiji Meteorological Service saying this mornign that Atu is now an intense category 4 cyclone.  This prediction was made exclusively by seven days ago.

Tropical Cyclone Atu officially forms (+Maps)

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The Fiji Meteorological Service has this afternoon officially announced that Tropical Cyclone Atu has formed near Vanuatu.

The cyclone is still moving slowly at a walking speed of 7km/h, which is double what it was this morning.

Winds remain sustained around 64km/h with gusts to 83km/h and the cyclone is intensifying.

Tropical storm intensifies near Vanuatu (+Maps)

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The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre has this morning announced that a tropical depression near Vanuatu is now a tropical cyclone - although the Fiji Meteorological Service which is the authority for the region is yet to do so.

The storm has become better organised overnight and this morning and will continue to intensify across the weekend and into early next week.