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Tropical Cyclone likely north of NZ this weekend weather forecasters are continuing to monitor a developing low in the Coral Sea north west of New Zealand where a tropical cyclone is expected to develop by the end of the week or weekend.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the tropics have “roared into life” in the past few days and long range models indicate there will be plenty of activity north of us over the next few weeks – but will any of the rain reach New Zealand?

“By next Monday there could be as many as four tropical lows north of New Zealand, one likely to be a tropical cyclone. But despite all this mounting pressure to bring rain, to northern New Zealand especially, the highs over us maintain the strength to hold back these plump rain makers”.

“However as we head through March the highs over us will dip further south – that opens up the increased chances of rain moving into northern New Zealand”.

As for the cyclone, the long range models remain conflicted.  The most trusted cyclone data we have suggests the cyclone will drift down the Queensland or even New South Wales coastline(s).  However yesterday afternoon the models were picking this then ex-cyclone would reach New Zealand in about 10 days time.  This morning, unfortunately for many, the models have again backed off from that scenario.

“Computer models have been flip flopping a lot more lately as they try to pick the rain makers out from the large highs – this is a tough weather pattern we’re in.  In every case it’s a battle to see who will win, the high or the low – and so far this year the highs have been winning almost every fight.  The law of averages says this can’t continue forever”.

But in the short term the nation looks very dry.  Rain that was possible next week now looks as though it will fall painfully close to New Zealand, but out at sea.  A trend that has started to form as the tropics start to wake up.

However the cracks around our stubborn highs continue to grow – with showers likely creeping into regional forecasts more and more over the coming weeks.

As for the cyclone – says those in eastern Queensland and coastal New South Wales should monitor forecasts very closely – as should New Zealanders keen on rain, however as of this morning the chance of the cyclone reaching New Zealand was still considered low to moderate – or about 30% – and that also goes for the chances of much needed substantial rain. 

– By Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan,


Sam on 6/03/2013 9:51am

The Courier Mail reports that the cyclone will form, to be be called Sandra and be a cat3 from the start.
They don’t know where it will track however.

Dave on 5/03/2013 7:27pm

Hi Phil

That does look potentially nasty for Queensland that is for sure. Maybe we will see the remnants of it after it slides down the Aussie coast behind the high. The tropics sure are active at the moment so we will get one by law of average you would think.

Are you thinking the rain for about 16th is going to fizzle out? It was looking fairly promising for a while


WW Forecast Team on 5/03/2013 8:36pm

 Hi Dave – we still aren’t sure to be honest. EVen the computer data is bouncing around…was 60% confident on Sunday, 30% yesterday and 0% today. But it could bounce back to 30% later today. The problem is due to timing – the low was running a couple days late and therefore missed it’s chance to come down. There is another chance around 17 to 22 from the ex-cyclone (as the low on the 16th is another low).

In fact over the next 2 weeks there will be about 4 or 5 lows north of NZ – and only one may brush us



Dave on 5/03/2013 11:46pm

Thanks Phil, I see what you mean, the models have changed today over a few hours. It does look a bit promising about 17th to 22nd for rain.


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