959hPa Predicted Near Auckland

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Developing Story

The latest weather charts produced by our government forecaster is showing a central air pressure of 959hPa around midnight near Auckland, Saturday, which would not just break the local record for air pressure, but smash it according to Philip Duncan, Head Weather Analyst at the Weather Watch Centre.  "This is unbelievably low and mimics that of modest Atlantic Hurricanes we see on TV.  The air pressure, at 959hPa, indicates that this storm will be an intense one".

Mr Duncan, along with MetService, is warning people in the upper North Island to take extreme care this weekend and to plan for the worst.  "Make sure you have your survival kits ready and if you live near small streams you need a plan in case it floods".

According to weather charts the Cyclone will be at it's peak when it passes near New Zealand's largest city, Auckland.

The sub-tropical low continues to rapidly deepen north west of New Zealand and is expected to pass Auckland late Saturday and early Sunday.

Air pressure within the low is rapidly dropping and it's expected to develop into a storm that's equal to a category 2 or 3 tropical cyclone by Saturday afternoon or night with winds averaging 130km/h at the centre and gusts much higher.

As of 11pm Friday an easterly was developing over Northland along with patchy rain.  On the latest satellite maps the low is starting to become increasingly visible.

Philip Duncan says the storm is rare and nasty and poses a "significant risk" to life and property.  "We're not trying to alarm people but the public in northern New Zealand need to be prepared for this major storm tomorrow.  Some people will lose roofs, some will lose power, and some will be isolated by floods and slips.  This storm is serious and we are expecting some damage".

But Mr Duncan says there is one significantly positive feature about this storm - and that is the speed it will move through. "While we're warning of the likely damage the storm should move through relatively quickly thanks to no blocking High in the east. On Friday night the storm was travelling quickly south east at over 50km/h. This should reduce the amount of damage".

The Weather Watch Centre says torrential rain, massive waves and storm surges could flood a number of low-lying areas across north eastern New Zealand as the subtropical storm moves in. "It may well be the most intense sub-tropical storm of the decade".

Latest MetService weather charts show the air pressure with this system could drop to 966hPa for a time on Saturday night near Auckland which Duncan says is unheard of. "This could help create one of the biggest storm surges seen in the upper North Island for several years with this potentially record breaking low pressure reading.  If this forecast eventuates we could see storm surges flooding low lying eastern coastal areas from Northland to Auckland and across Coromandel and Bay of Plenty. It may also pose a serious risk for low lying areas around the Firth of Thames which is particularly vulnerable to northern storm surges".

Latest government weather maps show the "eye" of the storm now may move across eastern Northland and north-eastern Auckland.  "The strongest winds and the heaviest rains look increasingly likely to hit northern New Zealand" says Mr Duncan.

Mr Duncan says the sub-tropical cyclone is the nastiest since Tropical Cyclones Fergus and Drena in the Summer of 96/97 and may well be worse.

"In the Fergus storm winds reached 225km/h on Mt Te Aroha before the wind gauge broke.  Winds in the Eastern Waikato town of Te Aroha reached 180km/h.  Our Weather Centre is predicting gusts on Saturday night and Sunday morning may reach 180 to 200km/h in some exposed pockets along the western side of the Kaimais/Eastern Waikato.  Other Northern regions may see gusts as high as 150km/h".

MetService has issued over a dozen rain and wind warnings for the top half of New Zealand.  They can be found in the weather section at www.newstalkzb.co.nz

Meanwhile another big storm in the northern Tasman Sea is predicted for early to mid next week travelling on a similar path except slightly further south which could see torrential rain over western and northern regions of both islands. "We're in for a very stormy 7 days...everyone across New Zealand needs to be on high alert for these storms".

This is a developing weather story and the Weather Watch Centre will closely monitor the situation and will update if the forecast models appear to strengthen or weaken over the coming day or two.


weather storm over orewa

just wondering about the lightning storm happening over orewa way at the moment? its been going for over 30 mins and looks angry.......

Auckland weather

My son, on a study abroad program in Auckland from the US, messaged me that indeed your weather is rare and setting a decade record. It is wonderful to be able to monitor his trek and as well see his is very well informed. D Reed Atlanta GA US


Hi there, it's now 4.30pm im in ruakaka have we seen the worst of this storm or is there more to come? Thanks.

How is the storm/cyclone tracking now?

Hi there

Just discovered your site today whilst trying to get info on the storm. FANTASTIC and very informative thanks. Have told others. We are in Whangarei, can you tell us if the worst has past? It seems to have quietened down now. The eye of the storm went past around 1.30pm. Thanks.


Thanks heaps for your feedback...REALLY glad you like the site!!

Eye is just passing over Whangarei this hour (7 to 8pm).   Stronger sou'westers will pick up overnight but they wont reach the speeds they clocked today!


Philip Duncan

hi there. hope you can keep

hi there. hope you can keep up with the questions.
i live in muriwai valley auckland west coast beaches. will this area escape the worst????????? thanks in anticipation.


Hi Kath...it's a wet Saturday, I don't have much else on! lol

Yes you;re probably a bit more sheltered over there, but still it will be very stormy after dark.  Actually, you should be more concerned about next weeks storm (Tues/Weds) as it'll be a west coast one I believe.

Stay safe


The Weather Watch Team

weather bomb

my husband and son are planning to travel from te awamutu to north shore on sun am....do they need to change their plans at all? thanks heaps


Best to check in the morning...the storm may ease significantly by then but safest bet is to check in the morning - and don't forget to check Time Saver Traffic.


The Weather Watch Team

Whangarei Heads

It seems from the pic that the eye of the storm will pass over the Whangarei Heads. We are in McLeod Bay and my partner was planning to go to a workshop in Whangarei for the day. Our house is westerly facing and thus far our trees are barely moving. So its hard to know if its going to be ok to drive into town. Any advice?


Gusts up to 90km/h around Whangarei - 70km/h in the town itself.  Drive with caution but you should be ok.

Great Job


I just wanted to let you know you are doing a great job, this is a great website. Thanks.

Keep up the good work guys,

Keep up the good work guys, it's great to have somewhere to come and answer our questions. About the second storm that's coming next week, is it likely to come on the same course as this one, and is it expected to be as intense ?

Hi there. This may sound like

Hi there. This may sound like a daft question, but is it going to be a cold wind like a S or SW? I thought that an easterly would be mild in temperature.

It's neat being able to post questions like this, thanks. I've often had questions about met matters and never known who to ask.


Hi there.  We love answering your questions so no worries at all!

Not a daft question, don't worry!  The wind will, in fact, be a pretty cold one from Auckland southwards...sou'easterlies will mean temps in many areas will hover around 13...with perhaps warmer conditions in Northland.

All the best

The Weather Watch Team


Hi There,
Thankyou for the information about the up-coming storm,
would just like to ask a question, in the area of central Auckland how hard is the storm going to hit? And would it do any damage to the car that we have sitting outside our garage ?


Hi Lee,

No worries about all the info - thanks for the feedback.

Central Auckland should be pretty rough tomorrow.  Strong winds will be the main feature...gusts to 130km/h could increase between the buildings to 150km/h.   But I take it you're not in the central part of town.  Surrounding suburbs (Ponsonby, Mt Eden, Parnell etc) should all get winds gusting (and not sustained) at 130km/h. 

Damage to your car is definitely possible but it all depends on whether it's parked under a tree or near something that could fall on it!


The Weather Watch Team

Papakura/South Auckland

What should the we expect from the storm if we are living in South Auckland, Papakura to be exact? I'm guessing it won't be as severe compared to North Auckland/Orewa and surroundings?


Papakura/South Auckland

Good evening Steph,

South Auckland won't get as much rain as Orewa and other northern centres...and the winds should be lighter too.  Same goes for Auckland airport I'd imagine.  Still going to be a rough day.

Kind regards,

The Weather Watch Team

Light rain

Light rain is falling in the Coopers Beach area, everything else is still calm. Presumably we will be one of the first to feel the storm effects?

Are you staying up all night to watch the storms progress???


I've been up since 6am...after a 6 hour sleep...and tonight I don't know when I'll fall asleep...but I have to be up early for the news media!  I run on adrenaline...and after this storm passes (and then NEXT weeks storm!) I'll probably take a big sleep!

Rest assured I have another forecaster on-hand (Richard Green, our South Island Weather Analyst who is fantastic) and 30 other Weather Watch reporters stationed around New Zealand.

All the latest weather news will be on this site - with updates more often than any other mainstream site.  So keep coming back!


Thanks for the info. Being on

Thanks for the info. Being on a ferry in 65 knots sounds like fun to me, especially out past Bean Rock! In that case I might need to take a rope and tie myself to a deck fitting.

There was a ring around the

There was a ring around the sun today.......we're on the manukau...its was a lovely day but there was a eeriness in the air! almost to quiet, to nice, to calm.....hope it passes us

Ring around sun

Hi, that ring is basically ice crystals at very high altitudes...creates a round rainbow which looks like a halo.

It is calm tonight in Auckland...dead calm at Whenuapai's weather station (a 3km/h breeze...walking speed is 8km/h!).  As they say - calm before the storm.


I am at Coopers Beach Doubtless Bay, No rain here yet, a slight breeze, still unusually calm,
Have passed on your web site to local volies, and you can be sure that we are glued to your site.

Thankyou it is much appreciated

You're welcome

One of the most beautiful places in NZ too, I might add!!  Shame the camping ground went - I love that place!

Philip Duncan


I'm still jumpy after last Saturday's lightening strike that hit our house and took out half the communications and power in our area. I sure hope we don't discover that the lightening burned a hole in our roof!


You had lightning hit your house!?  May I ask where you live?  Please do send photos to me (use the Contact US button at the top for details on how to send pics).  I'd love to see them - and post them online.

Lightning doesn't look like it'll feature much at this stage...don't forget to use our lightning radar on the right hand side if needed.


Philip Duncan

Papakura, but sorry, I didn't

Papakura, but sorry, I didn't have time to grab the camera when the lightening slammed into the house. It was hard enough to get my brain to register that it was in fact a lightening bolt spiralling towards me and I barely had time to hide. I did see the burning transformers across the road, which exploded very loudly, and the melted telephone cables afterwards but I guess I was still too shocked to think someone might actually appreciate a photo. My camera will become an attachment from now on, all in the interests of Weather watch!.

High Winds

Hi. I'm going to Sky Tower Orbit Restaurant tomorrow night and I'm really worried. I have heard it sways alot. Do you let them know so that maybe they might close the Restaurant. I really dont want to go, but everyone is laughing at me for worrying too much. Silly I know.

Sky Tower

Good evening,

No it's not silly at all to be worried about being in a high rise building during a storm!  I know people who are scared even when it's calm!!  I know that Sky Tower is built to withstand storms MUCH greater than this.  I suggest you call them and talk to the Tower directly, I'm sure they'll put your mind at ease.  I don't know if they ever close the restaurant during high winds...but I'm sure they'll let you know.

All the best

Philip Duncan.


Taranaki looks a fair way down from the track although we still got knocked around with Bola. What should we expect with this one?
(Thinking of my large glasshouse that I have only refurbished).
Great site!


Hi Glenn,

Yep, Tarnaki is looking stormy but I'd like to think your glasshouse will be ok.  Strong southerlies  or south easterly will gust to gale force...but I think the very worst will still be a few hundred kms to the north east of Taranaki.  Winds of 120km/h are probably just under the strength to break a glass house...depends on how big the gusts are (it's usually the gusts that break glass as opposed to the actual speed).

I guess in the end it depends on how well built it is!

All the best Glenn


Weather Watch Team

How is Whakatane looking??

What should we expect in Whakatane?? Excellent site too!!!


Hi, thanks so much for the positive feedback - please tell everyone about us!

Whakatane can expect a very big storm surge and huge seas during Sunday.  Flooding is also a possibility with heavy rains driven in by the nor'easters.

Update us if the weather gets really bad.


The Weather Watch Team


Hi there. I'd like to go to the coast and get some photos on Saturday, a good storm is ideal for photographers. Would Cheltenham/Narrowneck Beaches (Devonport) or Shakespear (end of the Whangaparoa Peninsula) be best? Are the North Shore ferries likely to stop? It sounds like I'll need my waterproof leggings and snorkel :) Thanks


Whangaparoa is probably most exposed...last big storm saw winds up to 180km/h from memory.

Ferries quite possibly will be cancelled tomorrow afternoon - but that's up to the Ferry services not Weather Watch to make that call...but with winds on the water of 65knots it doesnt bode well!


Weather Watch Team

thank you

Hi Phil, thanks so much for all this information, the site is excellent. I've been checking in all day as we're inland from the bay of Islands, so expecting it to be pretty horrible tomorrow.
I put a link to the lifestyle block forum ( people were well impressed!) a lot of us rely on good weather forecasting so thanks loads.


Hi, thanks so much for the feedback!  It's great that you're telling everyone about us!  Good luck tomorrow - I hope you're nice and sheltered.


Philip Duncan

Storm Surge

Hi there, do you that there will be a storm surge in the Tauranga area? I take it that the wind will relocate the deck furniture rather well. Will keep looking at you web page for the updates.....

Have passed you page on to the guys at work......

Storm Surge

Hi again Brendan.  Yes a storm surge is definitely likely in Tauranga...certainly Mt Maunganui will have some huge waves and big swells.  Waters around Matakana Island could be pretty dangerous/rough too.

Thanks for passing on our page to others - keep up the good work!


Philip Duncan (a tired forecaster tonight!...and we're only just getting started!)

How will affect coastal Hokianga?

Hi, I'm on a coastal property on the Upper Hokianga Harbour near Umawera. Do you think the winds will be strong there and also we are scheduled for high tide during the storm so will storm surge be an issue for Hokianga? I used to live in Tropical Far Nth Qld where we often experienced cyclones and tropical Lows. I thought the sea temperatures are too low to generate a cyclone and its also out of season (Oct - April) for cyclones? That said we were devastated in Townsville in 98 from 885hPa ex-TC. I can't even vision 966hPa? Is this a true TC or ex-TC or is it just a nasty storm with low pressure equivalent to a TC? Thanks! And love your site!


Hi there...I think the biggest feature for Hokianga will be the storm surge...although luckily youre on the west coast.  

Its technically not a tropical cyclone, it just has the same strength as one...it was born in the Coral Sea.

Yeah 966 is big....might not get to that, but it's certainly looking like it.

Thanks for the feedback - make sure you tell others!!


The Weather Watch Team

Flying out of Auckland

Praying that you have some good news about the possibility of my plane still taking off from Auckland around 9ish tomorrow morning? LOL

Flying from Auckland

Obviously we don't want to be held accountable if we're wrong here!  But I'd say you'll be fine tomorrow morning...it's later in the day that draws more concern.

Weather Watch Team

Hamilton being inland a bit

to you think it will miss us? what is the chances of it veering of course and not hitting NZ when little time before it hits? Great site, I have put it on the TM messageboards so it has now been exposed to several hundred people!


Yep, Hamilton should be relatively ok compared to other regions...just more heavy rain.  It will hit NZ...there's no doubt about that now...but these storms do have a mind of their own and they can 'wobble'...that wobble can make them shift a hundred odd kms to the left or right...if it shifts to the left that could significantly DECREASE the damage/effects on NZ.

Thanks for promoting us!  That's great! 

Cool site. Cheers ! I'm

Cool site. Cheers ! I'm guessing that Whangarei is likely to receive a fair battering from this storm, right ? When can we expected it tomorrow, around noon-ish ?


Starting in the morning probably.  Rough old day ahead!


will this affect wellington/horowhenua area badly