The tropics directly north of New Zealand is much quieter compared to a year ago with no major storms likely to develop over the rest of January in the NZ area.
There are some areas of interest, mostly in northern Australia which has already had a few cyclones affect them this season.
Our map below shows interest about a week from now, with the three coloured circles representing three risk areas. The highest risk for tropical cyclone potential in the next week and a half is around northern Australia (circled in Red). Even if no cyclone forms very heavy rain may bring flooding.
Circled in Orange is a moderate risk zone well off to our north east. This looks more like an area of thunderstorms but a low may form.
Finally the area circled in Yellow directly north of NZ shows some risk (the lowest risk) of a tropical low forming at the very end of the month, but this is only about a 20% chance at this point. So for now, New Zealand’s summer this year looks far more dominated by high pressure systems, the cold Southern Ocean cold front and westerlies than it does tropical lows and northerlies, like we had last year.