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Ex-cyclone Victor – dangerous beach conditions for eastern North Island (x3 Maps)

Ex-cyclone Victor continues to unravel as it slowly moves towards New Zealand out of the tropics and runs into high pressure.  However as has said all the week the biggest risk to North Islanders would likely be from dangerous beach conditions – even if the weather is sunny and calm at the beach.

“Over the next 24 hours eastern beaches, like in Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, East Cape and Gisborne will all see a gradual increase in wave & swell heights, and currents and rips may also become much stronger and dangerous, even if the weather may still be pleasant and sunny at the beach” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.

“While Victor is no longer a cyclone the severe gales and deep air pressure it had only a couple of days ago really whipped up the sea north east of New Zealand. It’s like dropping a rock in a swimming pool, even though the rock has sunk and gone the ripples continue for some time after – the ripples from ex-cyclone Victor will peak in the North Island from Tuesday to Thursday”.

Mr Duncan said the north east swells will make a number of holiday beaches dangerous for some swimmers from today, Sunday through until the end of the week — see the swell maps to work out peak risk days in your area (thanks to  This includes eastern Northland, eastern Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and East Cape in particular to start with.  As the week goes on the swells move further south into Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.

Tuesday afternoon swell map, via  Largest NE swells can be seen pushing into BOP, East Cape, Coromandel Peninsula, eastern Northland.

Victor is not hitting New Zealand as a cyclone.  The low will in fact be quite small in size and is being squashed on both sides by higher air pressure.   

However ex-cyclones often regenerate into a new low once they reach the eastern North Island – and this one will be hugging the eastern coastline – so the centre, where the weather can be most unstable, will be fairly close to land if anything changes.  

The centre isn’t intense anymore – but the low does bring with it a lot of humid tropical air – so while the ex-cyclone may not ‘bring much weather’ with it, it may ‘generate’ new weather over the North Island in the form of heavy downpours especially on Wednesday.  

1pm Wednesday rain map, shows a small area of intense rain near East Cape around the centre of the low. Another band of rain or showers forming around the lower North Island caught up in the humid SE wind flow. Not a lot of rain over land.

Generally speaking severe weather still looks mostly unlikely – but there is the chance of tropical-fuelled downpours which could be intense and slow moving.  Most likely candidates will be Bay of Plenty for a time, but more so East Cape, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and some inland parts of the North Island where humidity and daytime summer heating will mix.  

It’s unclear if these downpours will prompt any rain or thunderstorm warnings, but there is some chance.  But the bulk of the Victor’s rain will be offshore from New Zealand.  

The ex-cyclone won’t have a lot of wind with it either – but the lower pressure verses the incoming high may see some strong winds forming over parts of central New Zealand later in the week – but that is not the low on its generating this.

Wind map for Wednesday shows the centre of the ex-cyclone no longer producing widespread sustained gales, let alone damaging winds – however an incoming high SW of the South Island means there will be some ‘squashing of the isobars’ meaning gustier conditions may develop in some pockets of the country.

Again, the biggest risk to lives from the ex-cyclone will most likely be from dangerous sea and beach conditions along the North Isand’s eastern coastlines, even if the weather is sunny and settled at the beach.

Check marine and beach forecasts, MetService warnings & watches and use common sense to stay safe this summer.

– Images : Maps available on our app/website – data from the team at





Guest on 25/01/2016 3:31am

so the only place that gets cyclones is  gisborne………funny when i live there there was just the odd one not one every year unless you have the forcasts wroung

WW Forecast Team on 25/01/2016 4:23am

It’s the fact that most excylones naturally tend to be our to our east, rather than our west – and East Cape/Gisborne is a LOT further east than many people realise.  So they often ‘clip the ticket’ each time these cyclones track by.  Hopefully this one will bring in much needed rain, but not cause too many issues. One to watch!
– WW

Andrew on 24/01/2016 3:17am

This looks fantastic for the dryer parts of NZ.  It’s not too strong, just a pool of humid warm air and if blocked on it’s way southeast should cause some widespread falls right down to Canterbury.

OK, we may get the usual surface flooding around Gisbourne, etc, but it doesn’t look overly threatening.

Guest on 24/01/2016 5:47am


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