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As predicted by WeatherWatch.co.nz Tropical Cyclone Rene is moving towards New Zealand but is now dying and this morning became a Category 2 cyclone. At its peak the storm was a severe category 4 cyclone. 5 is the highest.
This afternoon the cyclone remains a Category two with WeatherWatch.co.nz predicting it will become a strong category 1 cyclone in the next 12 to 24 hours, then downgraded to a tropical depression.
The storm is still on track towards New Zealand and may not weaken any further, bringing bigger swells and strong rips to eastern and northern eastern beaches of the North Island.
Back in Tonga and locals have started picking up the pieces but damage was not as severe as first predicted.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says at the last minute the storm weakened reducing damage. A few hours earlier it had been a “severe tropical cyclone”.
Cyclone Rene ripped through the island nation last night, ripping off the roofs of some homes, while downing trees and power lines. Electricity was switched off ahead the storm and now contractors are fixing the lines.
Radio Tonga’s English news editor Sophie Price is based on Tongatapu, where she says people are trying to stay positive given there are no reports of injuries or fatalities.
“People are currently out clearing up trees out of roads, bits of building that have obviously come down, working away it.”
Ms Price says she has seen much worse damage from cyclones.
– Additional reporting NewstalkZB.co.nz
Guest on 16/02/2010 8:03am
I really wish we would get a lesser version of it. We must get a break from the drought soon!!!!!!!!!!!!
PLEASE WEATHER GODS!!!!!!
WW Forecast Team on 16/02/2010 8:38am
Check our next story tomorrow morning from 5am… we are gaining confidence that Rene will bring some rain to Northland and north eastern NZ…unsure how much though… it not be close enough to bring heavy rain. Fingers crossed.
SW on 16/02/2010 3:11am
Just because its dying it can still regenerate towards N.Z as a mid latitude low but it will have a larger area of somewhat lesser wind but enough to still be windy and rain can be intense still but were unlikely to get much of the rain apart from a possibility of some in the east about Gisborne.
A new deepening area of low pressure and a growing high will work together to dredge up a cold and…
Mild sub-tropical winds for some parts of NZ today will give way to a much colder southerly from Antarctica later…
The weather forecast for NZ is a settled one but for Australia it’s unsettled as heavy rain develops in QLD…