Tropical Cyclone Fehi will lose it’s tropical cyclone status today as the Category 1 storm shifts over cooler waters as it tracks south towards New Zealand. However the storm will retain damaging winds, big seas and flooding rains as it moves into the South Island’s West Coast on Thursday.
There is some positive news – the worst of the rain will fall in Fiordland, a rain forest. The area is used to getting heavy rain – but do not underestimate the energy in this small but aggressive storm.
The storm will make landfall most likely on the West Coast during the day on Thursday. The North Island misses the storm itself for the most part but does not escape the humid and heavy areas of rain the low will drag down.
– The red line indicates the heaviest rain – this is the track Fehi will likely take. Map by US Government.
– The Weather Company (an IBM business). ABOVE total rainfall up to Saturday. BELOW, 12 hour expected rainfall totals.
– Shows where the heaviest rain will be (Red/orange). Lighter falls in pale green. The Weather Company.
DANGEROUS beach conditions on the western side of both islands, however the West Coast area could be seeing waves of up to 13 metres according to The Weather Company:
WIND MAPS – Areas in purple indicate winds gusting to 100km/h with sustained gales (or near gale) at the centre. Note how the mountains break the winds up – making it hard to be specific about areas worst affected. At this stage the West Coast is most exposed to damaging wind gusts on Thursday. As the low crosses the South Island during the day wind directions will shift around from northerly quarter winds to southerly quarter – affecting new areas. For many it will be blustery only, but powercuts and fallen trees are possible in the South Island as this low moves through. It’s worth pointing out that large mountains – plus the fact the centre of the low will cross the South Island – means the winds will weaken slowly as it tracks across. The North Island gets a bit windy, especially in the usual NW traps from Taranaki to Manawatu to Wellington and Cook Strait area. Damaging winds are not forecast for the North Island at this stage. Wind maps courtesy of the Weathermap.co.nz team.
Temperature map for Thursday shows the colder southerly coming in behind the low. Daytime highs in the lower half of the South Island will tumble 15 to 20 degrees on Thursday and Friday from where they were at the start of this week. Map by Weathermap.co.nz.
– WeatherWatch.co.nz (An IBM business partner)