Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

Newly formed Cyclone Cook may bring flooding to New Zealand in 5 days

We have another tropical cyclone to monitor – Cyclone Cook is today tracking from southern parts of Vanuatu (bringing torrential rain) and towards New Caledonia (bring damaging winds and torrential rain).

The French island of New Caledonia is expected to be hit by Cook as a Category 3 cyclone, currently it’s Cat 2.

New Caledonia will be directly hit by Cook later on Monday and into Tuesday. Then Cook will turn towards New Zealand.

Vanuatu has already been hit by considerable flooding over the past day.

When we think of cyclones we tend to think of major wind and rain events however by the time they reach New Zealand more often than not it’s the rain that causes the bulk of the issues. Cook is not a very big cyclone sizewise – but it has a huge amount of moisture wrapped around it.

The concern has is that later next week Cook’s rain belt will connect with a sizeable low in the Tasman Sea pulling in very heavy rains which will be heavy enough to cause even further serious flooding in New Zealand, on top of the flooding we’ve seen over the past month or so.

To make matters worse the past few days the forecast models have shown a similar trend of heavy rain in the Edgecumbe/eastern Bay of Plenty area.  However a few more days are yet to go by before we can clearly see who will be impacted by this system, or if it might even slip closely past us without issues.

But more flooding rains are possible next week in New Zealand especially towards Thursday and Good Friday.

There’s some positive news – unlike Debbie it appears Cook might be smaller and faster moving, but in combination with another low in the Tasman Sea it’s one those potential set ups where if you live in a flood prone area or are an authority tasked with monitoring weather events this is one worthy of keeping an eye on.

Image – Track & threat map for Cyclone Cook as it slowly leaves Vanuatu and deepens as it heads towards New Caledonia / Fiji Met

– Image – Good Friday morning’s rain map shows ex-cyclone Cook small but potent near East Cape and potentially triggering heavier rains over eastern parts of the North Island, heavy enough to cause flooding and slips if this model pans out / Weathermap.



Guest on 8/04/2017 11:32pm

maybe it arrive in the same place as Captain Cook did lol

WW Forecast Team on 9/04/2017 12:04am

Oddly, it looks like it might track perfectly down the eastern coastline of both islands.  But hopefully further out to sea than the Captain! 

– WW

Guest on 8/04/2017 10:38pm

No mention on the winds? A run yesterday indicated 75knot sustained winds just before it crosses New Zealand. What kind of damage would that bring? And yeah, i seen that the latest runs have it tracking away 🙂

WW Forecast Team on 8/04/2017 10:45pm

Hi there, yes wind damage is possible but as we saw with ex-cyclone Debbie the wind aspect can be very hard to forecast in advance as tropical lows going through a physical transformation around the northern NZ area which impacts wind direction and strength and therefore who is impacted most. The rain, however, tends to stick around despite this change in structure. We’ll provide more information on any potential wind damage risks once we’re more certain of the precise path. Following all the flooding in recent weeks we felt rain should be the main focus at this early stage! If the winds eventuate we then look for the places most exposed (usually they are on the other sides of the ranges away from the main low itself, eg Eastern Waikato).



Guest on 9/04/2017 10:37pm

Yes, the “Kaimai Bluster” hits Te Aroha, so a North Easterly can be very damaging. Eleven roofs lost one year without mention in the news. We saw one in the river. Just tell us the direction so we can prepare.

WW Forecast Team on 9/04/2017 11:48pm

Easterly! But at this stage may not be close enough to bring major winds – but one to keep an eye on that’s for sure for Te Aroha. We’re the only forecaster in NZ that focuses on Eastern Waikato so check back for updates!



Related Articles