Tropical Storm and cyclone threat significantly increasing north of NZ next 14 days (+4 Maps)

Ideal conditions in the tropics is now creating large areas of low pressure with storm and cyclone potential in at least two areas over the coming 10 days.

As exclusively first forecast on both Jan 29 [February Tropics Alert: Cyclone potential north of NZ) and Jan 31 (Tropics looking highly active in mid February) the chance for tropical storms and even a cyclone or two was much more likely around the middle of February. 

Despite the tropical unrest there is still currently no direct threat to New Zealand - but the stormy tropical conditions will impact our weather, perhaps in a positive way to begin with as showers and the odd downpour start to move in to dry parts of northern NZ in the new east to NE flow.

There are three bursts of tropical weather worth monitoring

  1. The lows developing around Fiji today and will drift past north eastern NZ on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. While likely to track east of NZ it may bring in some welcome showers or even rain for some dry parts of eastern NZ, from Northland to Wairarapa. Not all will get rain from this though. The lows themselves (there may be 2 or 3) are expected to remain offshore. Both US and European modelling support this. It's possible one of these lows (90P in the first map below) may briefly become a tropical cyclone.
  2. A larger low behind these initials lows coming in directly north of NZ around New Caledonia. This has both storm and cyclone potential but at this stage shows no signs of budging much and may stall north of NZ. Or it may fizzle out where it lies. Or drift to eastern Aussie. While it has three possible options it's position on earth makes it certainly one to monitor 7 to 10 days from now. Both US and European modelling support this.
  3. Perhaps the biggest of them all, a potential Severe Tropical Cyclone may form east of Fiji next weekend then the following week rapidly deepen and track near populated islands. It is far too early to lock in and at this stage only US Data is showing this as likely - we'll keep you posted in more details next week.

Once again - no direct threat to New Zealand by a tropical storm but our weather does look to be influenced by the tropical unrest developing. We'll track the systems in detail across next week at With them so nearby slight changes may have bigger impacts on the New Zealand area.


TROPICAL RISK AREAS (to match 1, 2 & 3 above):

1) This Sunday/Monday tracking east of NZ, may bring rain to East Cape, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and brisk easterlies to some exposed areas. Not a storm at this stage.


2) A possible tropical storm or even cyclone a week from now north of New Zealand around New Caledonia. Long range data finds reliable suggests this low will linger in this area and slowly weaken next weekend - but may well influence our weather in the north with humidty, some rain and bigger swells.


3) Very long range data (so definitely not locked in) but GFS data from America shows a possible Severe Tropical Cyclone north of NZ two weeks from now (Feb 22). The intensity and precise location will likely shift in the days ahead. We'll keep you posted. Long range forecasts beyond 10 days can be quite changeable but these images are in the public domain so we wanted to comment on them. Those in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu should monitor the development of this potential storm system in the week ahead too.

- Exclusive