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Back to Cat 3 out at sea, Donna’s turning towards New Caledonia

Severe Cyclone Donna is back to a Category 3 storm after being upgraded to a Category 4 storm overnight and earlier this morning. Despite the category changes the storm itself hasn’t changed much, it’s simply hovering around the threshold between these two categories used to measure the strength of a tropical cyclone.

The Fiji Met service says Donna’s air pressure is now 960hPa.

Donna’s ‘bouncing’ journey looks like it has eased for now – the past few days it’s been tracking along from east to west in a wavy fashion, making it tricky to track with precision. But over the past 24 hours Donna has started to stall.

Fiji Met Tracking shows how Donna has been bouncing or wobbling as it’s tracked westwards. Now she has stalled and is preparing to head south towards New Caledonia.

The tropical storm is, in fact, being guided by the huge high pressure system that has this weekend moved from being centred over the Tasman Sea to being centered over New Zealand’s North Island. As the high continues to track eastwards it will allow Donna to finally turn and drop south. Cyclone’s don’t track into high pressure systems, they tend to go around them in the path of least resistance.

With Donna today out at sea we will have limited updates across Sunday as very little will likely change.

We’ll have more updates over the next few days as Donna tracks towards and past New Caledonia.

Donna is not expected to make direct impact with New Zealand but may still help create rain here – but currently New Zealand is not in the direct path of Donna, it is expected to track to the east of the country but we’ll continue to monitor and bring you the latest as Donna tracks past New Caledonia over the next three days.

– Fiji Met



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