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Numerous wind and rain warnings ahead of tropical trouble

Almost 20 wind and rain warnings have been issued this afternoon across the country by the government owned forecaster.

MetService has warnings now in place for several North and South Island region as ex-tropical cyclone Vania and current tropical cyclone Zelia head towards us.

“A low is forecast to move over the northern South Island on Tuesday evening. Another low, currently Tropical Cyclone Zelia, south of New Caledonia at 11am Monday is accelerating” says MetService severe forecaster Paul Mallinson.

“This second low will probably pass west of Northland and Auckland tomorrow afternoon and move over the southern or central North Island on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning”.

“This low could be close enough for a brief spell of severe northerly gales gusting about 130 km/h in exposed areas of Northland, about the Hauraki Gulf and higher parts of Coromandel Peninsula in the afternoon or early evening on Tuesday. It will probably move over the southern or central North Island on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning and may bring north or northwest wind gusts around 120 km/h at times about the higher ground in Taupo, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington (possibly the Marlborough Sounds and parts of Nelson) on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning” says Mr Mallinson.

The Fiji Meteorological Service – currently in charge of forecasting Zelia’s path – predict the storm will maintain a category 1 status when it nears the upper North Island on Tuesday afternoon and evening even though the storm will technically no longer be a “tropical” storm. says if the storm remains a couple hundred kilometres offshore then so too will the gales.  “It will be very close” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.  “It’s time for campers, trampers and boaties in particular to be aware of the severe conditions moving in”. advises campers around the country to stay up to date with the latest warnings and current weather news and be prepared to safely leave their location at any given time should it be affected by flood waters or severe gales.

MetService says there is also a risk of small tornadoes over much of the western North Island and upper north west South Island tomorrow afternoon during isolated thunderstorms.  The thunderstorm outlook covers Auckland as well, but they rate the chances of thunderstorms as “low” as of 2pm Monday.

See a full list of warnings here


Nath on 17/01/2011 9:13am

What are the chances that there will be more cyclones this season that affect NZ? cos if these are the first two and they are making a bee-line for us, what does that say?
bring on 2012 lol

cheers nath

westcoast on 17/01/2011 3:45am

I think a direct hit by Zelia on the upper NI could be possible
At the speed its moving at, its not going to change direction much I think
and the first cyclone, Vania, I do not think will pull it around as much as I first thought
You can see that the upper level wind flow is still very much SE in the area aorund the upper NI
I see that they are warning that Norfolk island could gets winds up to 180kmh if it makes a direct hit there (it might go just to the northeast (if it does then that means its on track for a direct hit on the upper NI too)

Jessica on 17/01/2011 1:55am

What sort of effect is this tropical cyclone/ ex tropical cyclone going to have on Auckland? We seem to always miss out of the big storms! They always bypass us!

WW Forecast Team on 17/01/2011 3:05am

Hi Jessica

It looks as though this system will do the same!  Rain for a couple of days – heavy Tuesday night and Weds morning with winds strongest Tuesday night/before dawn Weds.

Gales possible but we don’t think they will be damaging at this stage…the centre will track fairly near Auckland but just far enough west to stop the severe gales hitting us.  One to watch though as it may ‘wobble’ a little closer than currently forecast.

– WeatherWatch

Sue on 17/01/2011 9:22am


I would be interested to know what the wind speed during this upcoming windy weather is out here at Army Bay, Whangaparaoa. Often the wind out here is greater it seems due to our exposure. A couple of years ago when we had that big blow that damaged Auckland we recorded 180kmph at Tiritiri – much greater than most of Auckland. Would you happen to know where I could find live info re the Tiritiri wind speed recorder if that is what you call it? Cheers.


WW Forecast Team on 17/01/2011 9:31am

Roughly we are predicting gusts up to 120km/h but if the cyclone tracks more east then it may see winds much higher.

Sorry we can’t be more specific – we are going to do a special update around midnight tonight with a new projection.



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