There’s some concern about a new development that has formed into a cyclone and labelled Freda but not all meteorological agencies have even firmed up on the name or the status of this system yet.
At this stage Cyclone Freda is expected to be over New Caledonia on New Years Day however computer models are not in agreement about Freda and where it’s tracking plus if it will necessarily have any potential danger.
One model basically completely rules it out as anything major whereas another has it growing to a cateory 4 or 5 and races towards the North Island but just like Evan is picking it to fizzle out and just bring a few more days of dreary cloud and high humidity.
It’s unsual for the two biggest weather models to be poles apart but WeatherWatch.co.nz is monitoring the situation as the days tick by.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says”It’s a very, very long way out still for us, but there are increasing signs that this second cyclone is certainly going to put the north of New Zealand again at some sort of threat risk at the start of January.
“It’s formed in a perfect place for cyclones – in the Coral Sea, which is a breeding ground for them – it’s a very, very warm body of water off the Queensland coast towards Papua New Guinea and the Solomons.
“It’s naturally wanting to pull in the south-east, down towards New Zealand and we see a lot of these lows doing this.It will race over the Solomons tonight (and) … bring a period of very heavy rain which will last probably 24 hours or so and bring some hurricane-force winds for a time and then it will be gone.”
Mr Duncan said by Sunday Freda will be clearing the Solomon Islands and by New Years’ Eve will be pushing into the western side of New Caledonia.
Although New Caledonia was likely to be worst affected, Freda was likely to bring rough seas to northern New Zealand, Mr Duncan said.
The areas hardest hit would be Northland, Coromandel and the East Cape on January 4 and 5, Mr Duncan said.
Cyclone Evan caused casualties and destruction amongst some island nations in the South Pacific a fortnight ago and although there was some confusion on what it would do as it neared New Zealand, Evan ran out of puff and delivered just a little moisture however very sticky conditions prevailed for a few days.
WeatherWatch.co.nz and NZHerald
on 29/12/2012 2:57am
In early January we are embarking on the Cook to Cook – climbing Mt Cook then cycling to Picton and kayaking across Cook Strait. Right now we are looking at the different weather maps and trying to decide if a climb of Cook might be on for 5th January – Very tricky! Lets hope Freda does not come too far south! Many thanks for this commentary, we will watch with interest. – Sarah