The tropics have been much quieter since Cyclone Gita moved through but as we head into March there are signs of more lows forming and more energy north of New Zealand.
At this stage there are no tropical cyclones forecast in the next week in the tropics north of us however the first half of March may herald a number of low pressure systems, some could bring more heavy rain to New Zealand.
The computer models have been showing lows forming north of New Zealand in early March for the past 10 days – what the models haven’t been sure of is where precisely a low will form, other than north west, north and north east of New Zealand – which covers a large area. While one update from GFS last week did show a potential severe tropical cyclone in the second week of March no other models have supported this since – instead they all tend to show the energy being spread across a large portion of the sub-tropics north of NZ and producing perhaps a few lows rather than one big severe one.
Either way as we head into March we do see an uptick in sub-tropical energy and low pressure systems forming – whether they directly impact New Zealand or not remains the big question but even if they brush by it could create for a burst of wind and rain. Lows could form anywhere from Queensland, Australia to our north west, to the international date line to our north east.
March is typically the peak of the tropical storm season in the South Pacific with sea temperatures reaching their peak warmth and often storms form over the next several weeks in the tropics north of New Zealand.
WHAT THE MODELS ARE SAYING AS WE HEAD INTO MARCH:
March 2 (GFS)
March 2 (GFS)
March 9 (GFS)
March 9 (ECMWF)
March 13 (Extra long range – GFS)