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Tropical storm update- 5pm Sunday

Confidence continues to grow that a tropical low will bring heavy rain, strong winds and dangerous swells to New Zealand this week. says that the computer models that are used to help guide forecasters are finally beginning to focus on one particular outcome,  one which puts the North Island directly in the low’s path.

Weather Analyst Howard Joseph says it looks like the low will take a path that brings it across Northland sometime late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.  Joseph says that based on that path and timing…

  • This storm will confine itself to the North Island
  • Regions most likely to see the heavy rainfall are Gisborne and Hawkes Bay.  The best chance for that is on Tuesday.  Government forecaster MetService has also indicated a high risk for heavy rain in these areas.
  • The rest of the eastern North Island could also see some heavy rain, although the threat is not as great.
  • Severe gales are possible across most of the North Island.
  • The time frame between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening is the most likely time these areas will see the worst of the storm.
  • Pockets of heavy falls may continue to affect the eastern sections of the North Island into late Thursday.

There is also a concern about dangerous swells.  Brent Bemasley, Oceanographer at MetOcean Solutions believes that four metre swells are possible from late Tuesday and lasting through Wednesday.

Joseph says that this low certainly has the potential to cause flooding and some wind damage.  He urges North Island residents to make sure what isn’t nailed down is put away.  Joseph says “We could see severe gales develop on Tuesday.  Those are the kind of winds that send lawn chairs flying.”

Joseph does caution that any change in the track of the low could have an enormous impact on the forecast.  He says “It’s something that you just have to watch very closely.  You track the low all the way through.  You compare where it is now as opposed to where it was supposed to be.  You keep doing that until it’s no longer a threat.  That’s how you stay one step ahead of the storm.”

There is some good news though.  Joseph says that the Easter forecast is looking brighter and drier.  A huge ridge of high pressure is expected to be anchored off to our east on Sunday.  That should make for a dry, settled and comfortable Easter holiday.


Guest on 1/04/2012 7:10am

Great update WW – thanks.

Is this tropical storm the cyclone that was coming down from Fiji or just the series of Low’s accumulating together of NZ? If it is the cyclone, what came of some of the predictions of it intensifying?


Guest on 1/04/2012 6:00am

I’m confused, do you mean the low that is meant to develop into a tropical cyclone over vanuatu or the low building nearer to us, as I thought we were following the possible cyclonic low first thanks guys

Geoff on 1/04/2012 10:26am

Indeed, there’s two or three lows in the mix. Perhaps we need to name them – Bert, Ernie and Grover or something like that?

Guest on 1/04/2012 5:54am

From what direct are the gales forecast to come from affecting the Coromandel?

sw on 1/04/2012 8:13am


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