We’re in the peak of the Southern Hemisphere cyclone season with three active tropical cyclones affecting the Australian area alone this week and more on the way for the zone north of New Zealand.
CYCLONE MARCUS (No longer a technical tropical storm)
The first was Cyclone Marcus which last week hit Darwin directly and then tracked out over the Indian Ocean to become a powerful Category 5 storm. Marcus is longer a tropical cyclone after going through the extra-tropical phase. The remnants of Marcus will bring some wind and just a few showers across Sunday and Monday into PERTH as the remnants push into high pressure south of Australia.
– GFS Tracking for the remnants of Marcus on Sunday evening.
Next on the list is Cyclone Nora, currently Category 2 as of Sunday morning NZDT and has now made landfall in northern Australia.
– JTWC tracking for NORA
– Tracking of Cyclone Nora thanks to BoM
– The Weather Company (a WeatherWatch.co.nz business partner)
This cyclone is flirting with the boundary between Australian and Fijian authorities which can be a bit frustrating for those who are tracking it. BoM forecasters in Australia also have a different take on IRIS compared to Fiji. In situations like this WeatherWatch.co.nz relies on global forecaster JTWC out of the US for consistency when the various NZ, Australia, Vanuatu and Fiji authorities are all on different pages (which happens quite a bit).
Iris is likely to hover around a low end Category 1 cyclone (yesterday the Fiji Met Service suggested Cat 2, but at the same time BoM out of Australia said it wouldn’t even be a cyclone by the end of today and would just be a tropical low).
In our view the inconsistency from local forecasters shows this is a low end tropical cyclone and will likely weaken back to just a tropical low this week then stall in the Coral Sea area for a full week not strengthening or doing much. It may sit in this area for another 9 days and not affect New Zealand at all due to a blocking high in our area.
IRIS may bring in some wind, surf and perhaps some brief wet weather to some parts of the Queensland coastline.
– Current tracking by JTWC (US Government)
– Fiji Met Service tracking map
THE NEXT CYCLONE MAY BE NEAR FIJI & TONGA
Just over a week from now on Easter Monday a new low will be deepening near Fiji. This may become the next tropical cyclone in the South Pacific (but too early to confirm today). This next potential tropical cyclone looks like it will track SE from Fiji to Tonga and then out over open waters.
As you can see from the air pressure map below from the US Government next Monday (April 2nd) a deepening low lies over, or near, Fiji while the remnants of Cyclone Iris still sits over the Coral Sea 10 days after forming in that area.
New Zealand remains protected from both tropical disturbances due to a very powerful belt of high pressure over us.