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“Everyone should do their part in limiting water use”


Tropical Cyclone Gene has moved off Fiji with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting 6 dead due to the storm.  The cyclone is hovering around a Category 1 and 2 (out of a possible Category 5) as it drifts slowly towards the southern islands of Vanuatu.  Winds are expected to rise to Hurricane force in the next 24 hours as Gene gathers more strength from the warmer waters.  Damage isn’t expected to be major but could still be significant with power likely to be cut in central and southern islands.  Vanuatu is currently on Cyclone Alert.  The cyclone is expected to ease over the island group during Friday and Saturday, except for the very southern islands.
Meanwhile further south and Noumea and the rest of New Caledonia will be bracing itself for the Category 1 or 2 cyclone.  Long term computer models are predicting Gene could hang around the New Caledonia area for up to a week.
At this stage the cyclone isn’t expected to impact New Zealand but Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.  “Gene is currently in a part of the ocean that is a breeding ground for a number of our tropical storms.  The natural weather patterns will be trying to pull Gene towards New Zealand however a large high is stopping that movement.  If the high shifts off the North Island, then the cyclone may well bring much needed rain to a number of dry farms”. 
Duncan also says regardless of Gene’s track, the forecast for next week does show a couple of weak fronts moving up the country from the south.  “We could see a few showers or even rain popping up in a number of dry areas”.
But despite the possible rainfall Philip Duncan says it’s time for everyone to conserve water.  “Whether you’re in Auckland, or Invercargill, there is the possibility that rain catchments may remain very dry for several more weeks.  Everyone should do their part in limiting water use”.



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