A tropical storm is expected to form north of NZ within a week and does pose some threat to northern New Zealand next week.
While it’s too early to lock in precise tracking – and the risk zone covers anywhere from the mid Tasman Sea to east of NZ – the storm’s likely location to form means New Zealand is in the risk zone.
The Fiji Met Service says the risk of a cyclone forming by this Thursday is “moderate to high”. For New Zealand, WeatherWatch.co.nz says any threat would likely be early to mid next week.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says there is a fairly high chance of the tropical storm forming, but says the current risk for New Zealand being directly impacted is only around 30%.
“It’s like balancing an egg on a roof when these cyclones track southwards towards narrow northern New Zealand” says head forecaster Philip Duncan. “They usually roll down one side of NZ or the other, but every now and then we get a direct hit. The modelling is showing there is still a lot that could change”.
“A few days ago the Tasman Sea and South Island looked exposed to the storm, yesterday it was Northland, today some models show it tracking east of NZ and missing us entirely. In other words, we need more time to lock this in but it’s certainly one to watch” says Duncan.
Even if the storm misses New Zealand it could produce life threatening beach conditions in some places, even if the weather on land is sunny and settled.
With nothing yet locked in for New Zealand, but the cyclone showing up on public long range models, WeatherWatch.co.nz will have another tropical cyclone update for the South Pacific on Wednesday morning.