WeatherWatch.co.nz has the latest on three areas of concern north of New Zealand.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Wilma – South Pacific Ocean
Severe Tropical Cyclone Wilma is now a Category 3 storm as she tracks directly towards New Zealand from the north east, says the Fiji Meteorological Service.
Wilma is currently moving across Tonga with sustained winds over 120km/h and gusts estimated up to 170km/h. WeatherWatch.co.nz says damage is expected with significant coastal flooding.
The central air pressure is 970hPa which will help contribute to the storm surge.
The Fiji Met Service says Wilma will continue to intensify before weakening back to a Category 2 cyclone in the next couple of days.
So will Wilma hit New Zealand? Well, like Zelia and Vania, Wilma will be in a state of decay by the time she reaches our shores. This means the system is falling apart, rather than developing – such as the sub-tropical low at the weekend, which was newly formed and full of energy.
Some models show Wilma hovering north of New Zealand while others show her falling apart and crossing the north eastern North Island over the long weekend.
There is so much uncertainty with Wilma that no concrete forecast is yet available for northern New Zealand this long weekend.
Here are the current predictions for Wilma’s track.
Wilma’s path – as predicted by the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre
Wilma’s predicted track and intensity / Fiji Meteorological Service
Tropical Cyclone Anthony – Coral Sea
Meanwhile Tropical Cyclone Anthony has this morning achieved it’s predicted U-Turn in the Coral Sea and is now heading back towards Queensland.
Cyclone Anthony is currently a category 1 cyclone according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and while he poses no immediate threat to Queenslanders, many will be concerned with his projected path, which shows him weakening but still moisture laden and moving towards Cairns / northern Queensland.
His winds are averaging about 75km/h.
The long range models don’t have a firm idea as to whether Anthony will make landfall or remain out at sea, or even continue to track well north of Cairns.
Anthony’s predict path – according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre. It’s unusual to see a storm back tracking so perfectly. Black indicates where the storm has been, purple indicates where it’s heading.
Predicted track of Anthony in the coming days / BOM
New Tropical Cyclone Threat
Finally a low that hasn’t even developed yet may pose the biggest threat to land out of all previous storms this season. WeatherWatch.co.nz says two main computer models are predicting what could be the most powerful cyclone so far this season, developing just north of Fiji this weekend.
The Fiji Meteorological Service doesn’t expect the cyclone to hit Fiji but warns rain could be heavy. The storm is likely to track near or over Vanuatu by the end of the weekend and by next week could be a severe tropical cyclone head towards Cairns/Queensland across the Coral Sea.
There are no indications that this future storm will have any impact on New Zealand at all.
The models have been picking this for three days now and all forecast a very deep low.
WeatherWatch.co.nz will keep you up to date with the latest on this predicted cyclone.
on 26/01/2011 1:29am
Any updates on what the latter storm (north of Fiji) is up to?
on 25/01/2011 1:06am
Good work Phil, this is the only site in NZ to give any ideas of what is around the corner weatherwise. Even if NZ does not get affected it is still good to know what is happening out there.
Who wants a weather job with TV, no one takes them seriously do they!.
on 25/01/2011 12:35am
Now that’s interesting and good reporting Mr Duncan. Keep it up and you’ll never get a job in either of the main TV networks.