Modelling overnight has again shifted the track of Lusi just a little – potentially moving it further west of Northland when it comes in on Saturday, but adding new risks for severe weather into the South Island.
The slight shift west of Northland potentially puts Northland and even parts of northern Auckland a little more in the path of wind – but the further west this system tracks the lower the risks for severe gales or wind damage there should be further east.
Eastern Waikato still faces potentially damaging gusts – but the highest wind peaks may not be as extreme if Lusi’s path shifts even just a little further west again.
The worst of the weather is around the centre – the further the centre is away from you the less likely you are to be affecting by severe weather. Tracking where a tropical low will make landfall is like predicting which pin a bowling ball will hit first – and sometimes they can curve away at the last minute. Lusi looks on track to hit NZ – but where it exactly makes landfall is still changing.
As you can see from the threat map below – the further west of Northland Lusi tracks, the less at risk eastern areas are.
However wind and rain are still predicted across a number of regions this weekend – the hardest part to lock down is the exact timing.
But if the severe weather risks are easing for one region – they will be increasing for another. So keep up to date with the latest MetService warnings/watches and severe weather outlooks over the next 72 hours.
Despite some changes in the track over New Zealand there is increasing consistency now that Lusi will slide down the North Island’s west coast then track across the central South Island overnight Sunday.
Monday may well see severe gales in eastern parts of the South Island – but one thing the data still agrees on, Lusi’s remnants will be clearing the country by Monday morning.
CAN I DRIVE THIS WEEKEND?
Please keep up to date with the forecasts – not all of NZ is in for severe weather, many parts will have a fairly normal wet and windy weekend. But for those who are exposed to severe weather then some roads may be closed. See the severe weather outlook at MetService to determine if you’re in a risk area.
CAN I FLY THIS WEEKEEND?
Airlines and Airports will make a call on the day should the weather worsen at the airport itself. Check with airlines/airports before travelling. With any storm moving in there are risks of delays and cancellations.
WILL FERRY SERVICES BE CANCELLED?
We cannot answer on behalf of the ferries – up to them to determine, like any other day, if conditions are ok for sailing. Severe weather is forecast for both northern and central NZ for a time this weekend so some disruptions are possible in Auckland and Cook Strait.
IS IT POSSIBLE THIS STORM WILL MISS US?
The low is definitely coming towards New Zealand – but it’s important to remember the storm is falling apart before it reaches us. For the past 24 hours the models have weakened the low a bit for northern NZ – but intensfied it further south. Just like the US, with the most advanced tropical storm tracking on the planet, the exact path of a cyclone is very tricky to pinpoint, same with intensity. The risks are there for damage – so we warn of those risks.
WILL IT RAIN ON MY FARM?
One of the hardest things we’ve found with this low is locking in where the rain will fall. We are confident some very dry farms across the country will receive a soaking – but we’re also well aware a number might be disappointed with the totals. Keep an eye on the rain maps – and please let us know how much rain fell at your place after the event. We will be looking for the next rain event chances early next week (once our attention has shifted off this low)
WHAT IS THE TIMING FOR SEVERE WEATHER RISKS?
This continues to change – but generally speaking:
WILL THIS AFFECT…?
We cannot answer if this storm will postpone or cancel outdoor events. That is for the promoters/organisers to decide based on the latest forecasts and Metservice warnings/watches. All we can say is that most places will have a period of wind and rain this weekend – it may not be severe for all, but there are severe weather risks across the country.