February Tropics Alert: Cyclone risk north of NZ set to rapidly rise (+4 Maps)


There's a fairly high chance that conditions north of New Zealand in the tropics will be active in the first half of February and while New Zealand won't be directly affected at this stage it looks as though there may be some tropical energy around some populated places.

Most exposed look to be Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and Fiji between the dates of February 3rd and February 12th. Please note there is no cyclone risk to these places, simply that lows may be forming in the area surrounding these nations and some may form into storms based on modelling. At this stage WeatherWatch.co.nz says two named storms are possible. The two largest risk areas for cyclones appear most likely to eventually drift off to the south east over the South Pacific away from land and definitely well away from New Zealand and it's too early to know if they might seriously impact land due to the small physical size of the nations in the South Pacific. 

While too early to know if any of these tropical lows will impact these countries directly, or definitely reach cyclone status, there is a fairly high chance of storms forming at sea in their backyards and being close enough to monitor closely.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says by mid February air pressure around New Zealand will sink further south over the South Island at times allowing the tropics north of New Zealand to expand further and energise more. There may be as many as 7 or 8 tropical lows north of New Zealand on February 5th but high pressure should be protecting New Zealand itself.

- WeatherWatch.co.nz