A number of weak lows are forming east of New Zealand over the next few days and will eventually all be absorbed by cyclone Atu predicts WeatherWatch.co.nz.
The lows, as seen here by the government MetService weather chart for 1am Tuesday, show four weak lows east of the country.
As Atu drops down towards New Zealand later on Tuesday and into Wednesday and Thursday WeatherWatch.co.nz expects the lows to be pulled into Atu perhaps adding more fuel to the system as it begins its transition from tropical cyclone to extratropical cyclone (when the core of the storm goes from warm and tropical to cold). Extratropical cyclones can be just as damaging and cyclones Bola, Drena and Fergus were all extratropical.
However Atu still isn’t expected to be close enough to cause serious problems for New Zealand.
We’ll keep you up to date over the next few days with the latest news and any potential affects on land plus any watches if issued by the government forecaster.
on 20/02/2011 6:08pm
All its going to be is Southwesterlies Southwesterlies and more southwesterlies with cloudy eriods.
on 20/02/2011 6:04pm
Hi Phil – looks like I backed the wrong horse in my earlier guesstimate. I guess I was relying on more stronger ridging across the top of NZ. This seems likely but not in time to prevent this cyclone from moving through the zone of least resistance. ie the area to the north and northeast of NZ.
I’m glad in a way as I certainly would not like to have seen Q’ld hit by another destructive cyclone.
Isn’t weather interesting – so predictable yet unpredictable at times.
I guess it shows we are all learning
I’m all for the science of meteorology advancing as best it can given present resources.
Your website is helping us all and hopefully in particular the NZ Meteorological Service up its game so to speak.
on 20/02/2011 8:17pm
Hi Peter – thanks for the support, much appreciated. Yes it’s lucky it didn’t follow your prediction – this one is going on a path that involves the least populated regions, which is great – but some islands are going to be directly hit today but this powerful storm.
on 20/02/2011 9:53am
Hi there Phil, you mentioned earlier that a high would keep Atu away from New Zealand but if we have lows on the eastern side, the side Atu is approaching from, there will not be the barrier to keep this cyclone from coming down and possibly making a direct hit, is that correct Phil?
on 20/02/2011 8:19pm
The air pressure remains high over the North Island so the low is still expected to track to our west – where those lows are. Those lows are very weak andw ill eventually be absorbed into Atu while he transitions into an extra-tropical cyclone – but it will still be well off our coastline to the east.