December was defined by rain. January was defined by heat and dry for many. February may be the month of the tropics with several lows forecast to develop over the coming week or so directly north of New Zealand.
The modelling has been very clear that these lows will likely form and have storm or even cyclone potential. There is no storm forecast for NZ at this stage though, however the remnants of these lows looks increasingly likely to swipe NZ at some point or track very nearby – as usual there’s a fine line between a low directly coming in or just sliding down the east of the country offshore.
Either way the past month or two have been pretty quiet north of New Zealand and the next two weeks are the complete opposite with low after low after low forming from northern Aussie to north of NZ to well out to the north east past the international date line. Some of these may form into a cyclone and but it’s unclear which low will do this and when precisely but there is moderate to high risk of tropical storms over the coming 14 days well north of NZ.
High pressure over the South Island will be pushing back against these lows and altering their courses as they try to track south so there are still a lot of moving parts to work out. Certainly the energy in the South Pacific Tropics is now worth monitoring as we approach the peak months of the cyclone season. Sea surface temperatures peak in March so lows tend to increase around Feb, March and April in the NZ area making forecasters, boaties and many others take a harder look at possible lows forming north of the country.
SUNDAY FEB 10TH – ONE POSSIBLE OUTCOME:
SATURDAY FEB 16TH – LOW AFTER LOW AFTER LOW IN THE TROPICS…