Tropical Cyclone Wilma formed last night east of Samoa and long range computer models show the remnants of the cyclone are likely to pass northern New Zealand towards the end of this coming working week.
Wilma is currently category 1 status with sustained winds at 65km/h but the Fiji Meteorological Service says the sustained winds will rise closer to 100km/h by midnight tonight.
The cyclone is predicted to intensify as it starts to track in a south west direction today.
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The Fiji Meteorological Service says the cyclone will pass directly over Pago Pago, American Samoa, Monday morning NZT.
The long range maps provided by GFS show the ex-tropical cyclone heading in from the north west on Friday and potentially coming down the west coast of the North Island on Saturday.
WeatherWatch.co.nz points out that tropical cyclones are highly unpredictable and this story is not a firm indication that NZ will take a direct hit. We provide it in the interests of long range discussion about the tropics and their potential impact on New Zealand over summer.
WeatherWatch.co.nz will monitor Wilma closely and bring you the latest news as it develops.
on 23/01/2011 6:36pm
Iam a Kiwi who works in Am Samoa with Fletcher Construction, Right now we are getting hit pretty bad, and they say more is yet to come. We have had reports of a Cable that used to carry a cable car in the territory was snapped and has fallen down. Homes have been evacuated in low lying areas due to 15-18 foot swells. We are holdin on.
on 23/01/2011 8:20pm
Thanks very much Trent – keep us up to date across the day.
on 23/01/2011 3:17am
depends who you trust JTWC show latest forcast track with wilma heading away from NZ but anthony heading towards us
on 23/01/2011 3:28am
If you look carefully you can see that Anthony does a u-turn on the 25th and heads back to northern Queensland. But then again these are only predictions and these can change.
on 23/01/2011 5:44am
I thought it would have gone – Wilma, Betty, Fred, and then Barney, if we get more forming after that we could go on to Bam Bam and then Pebbles.
Oh well, excuse my humour.
on 23/01/2011 5:54am
It’s ok, I made the same bad joke on Twitter today…only one person responded 🙂
They do have the name "Freddy" in the Australian list but it’s probably a few years away from being used. Would’ve been great to have had Freddy in Aussie and Wilma in Fiji at the same time!