Cyclone Tino is moving closer to New Zealand and while it won’t directly impact our weather it will churn up some eastern beaches.
Most impacted will be East Cape, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay but many populated holiday beaches in the eastern North Island will also be affected by an increase in wave heights, wave frequency, rips and currents such as Bay of Plenty, eastern Coromandel and parts of Northland and Wairarapa.
Beaches that are often calm in summer may have 1 to 3 metre waves and sudden rips developing next few days.
It’s a slow developing offshore storm swell that will start as early as Sunday PM and take until Thursday AM to ease.
As of 11:30am Sunday Tino was still a Categry 2 Tropical Cyclone and to make it a little confusing, Cyclone Tino will be downgraded to an Ex-Tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours or so but in fact this will signal an even larger sized storm with lower air pressure soon after. This new deepening cold-centred low is what will be helping to create bigger waves and rips around eastern NZ in the days ahead.
These offshore storms can be very dangerous to beachgoers, especially when the weather on land is likely to be hot and sunny at many beaches – masking the new risks forming in the water.
While increased swells may not be that great compared to the more rugged West Coast storms even an additional metre or so of wave height could create much more difficulty swimming with younger and older people and weaker swimmers etc, especially in beaches which may traditionally been seen as ‘safe’ and ‘calm’.
Not all beaches will be impacted – you be the judge on the day locally, but it was important to generally stress this offshore system may make for some surprisingly rough patches in some of our eastern beaches.
As of late Sunday morning peak wave heights in the middle of Cyclone Tino were at 8 metres (26 feet).
SWELL MAPS – Areas in red highlight increasing wave heights, wave frequency and more powerful rips