Weather Video: Which parts of NZ will Cyclone Pam hit?

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A rare and very large severe tropical cyclone is this weekend going to clear Vanuatu and head down towards New Zealand.

It’s expected to weaken a little and shift a little more to our east – but it is far too close for comfort for authorities and forecasters.

For that reason we suggest all North Islanders, particularly those north of Waikato and Hawkes Bay to keep up to date with the changing forecasts.

We also suggest and for weather advice across the weekend.


Storm Pam

Hi, i am from Holland in Europe. My doughter and her partner are on holiday in your beautiful country.
They are now in Otorohanga and are going to drive too Rotorua on monday. Are they safe there? In Europe we don t have tropical Storms.
We don t know what to expect.

You really sure? last time

You really sure? last time you said all this I cancelled a major family fuction only to find Lushi was nothing more than  strong wind and our event could have gone head with no problems what so ever.  In fact we were furious at being rarked up.   You seem to cry wolf a lot but then nothing eventuates.  Maybe this is just another curtin flutter like last time? 

If you don't understand the

If you don't understand the variables in the video I cant help you! You don't seem to understand this storm will pass NZ but we aren't sure if the damaging winds will hit.  Just like in archery at the Commonwealth Games - they shoot the arrow, you know the target, but no one can say with certainty where the arrow will hit before it's landed. Same story with this - we know it's coming, but the target isn't locked in - because even NASA cannot 100% accurately forecast the target of tropical storms. As I say - can't help you if you still don't get it after watching that video, I do all I can do to explain it well - I haven't said ever that this storm will directly hit NZ, I've said it might hit, it might not, I've given the chances based on the best facts and data we have - and that's all any human being can do.

Philip Duncan. 

Sea temps and cat rating when passing NZ


Just wondered what sea temperatures are in the path from NZ to the Cat 5 at the moment. Are they expecting it to still be a cyclone as it passes NZ or an ex-TC? If an ex cyclone are you expecting a massive rain dump over Northland and East Cape as it unwinds?

TC Giselle April 1968 all over again ?

I'm beginning to wonder if Pam might produce the stongest winds the North Island have seen since the Wahine storm (TC Giselle), of April 10th, 1968 ? More so if it tracks directly across East Cape or Eastern BOP ... certainly Gisborne/eastern BOP would experience very damaging wind gusts if that occurs. I see the latest Australian BOM map (Friday evening) predicts exactly such a track, with a possible very low 963 hPa at the centre, as it crosses, just west of East Cape. Will be interesting to see what eventually happens, a variation in track of 200-300 km east or west on Saturday/Sunday will make all the difference to how hard we get hit on Monday/Tuesday.


cyclone Pam

I am following " Higgins Storm Chasing" and Fiji Met Office for proper details as both WW and Metservice are not ginving enough details.
My opinion - not good enough.
I live near Te Aeoah and likerly to cop it big time as per usual.
Seems to me that you are downplaying this threat.


Anything to be worried about if flying out early Sunday morning from Auckland to Singapore???


Firstly, thanks for the updtaes Philip - I think I can speak on behalf of all the vistors to your site to expess our appreciation of your efforts.

I reckon in the latest forecast Pammy seems to be tracking slightly closer to the North Island:

Thanks very much for your

Thanks very much for your kind words Dominic - much appreciated.

It looks as though Pam will certainly get very close to East Cape.  

Big apologies the maps on our website have been down again - this comes from a third party source and we are looking at alternatives ASAP for today.

Thanks again
Philip Duncan 


The cyclone will move to nz because I am sceptical about the model tracks because there are highs to the east and to the west. Cyclones tend to go where the gateway is between the highs

Cyclone Pam

I am in the capital of Vanuatu, Port Vila.
Winds have picked up speed within the last 3 hours and is combined with thunderstorms.
We are getting a lot of short wind burst of around 80km that last about 2 to 5 seconds.
Houses have been locked up with plywood and cyclone shutters, we can hear police siren back and forth.
There is thick layers of fog surrounding the port Vila town area. We can still hear hammers knocking away on some last minitue preparations.

All the best to you and yours

Argh! Karl, all those sounds must be imparting such an impending feeling! Sounds like people in Vanuatu are well rehearsed with these storms and know how to deal with them when they come in. Keep safe, Karl. All the best.  

Thanks very much for the

Thanks very much for the update - stay safe and hope all goes well where you are tonight. Let us know how you get on Karl.

Philip Duncan 

Cyclone Pam

Update: 11:09pm
Cyclone has reached us here in Port Vila.
Wind sounds like a roaring jumbo jet ready to take off.
I can hear a lot of trees, roofing sheets banging outside.
The wind seems to be intensifying by the minute.
My alarm for the truck just went off from the shear power of the wind moving the truck outside.

Cyclone Pam

Hi Philip,


An update from Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Cyclone Pam have intensified here inthe Capital City. With winds reaching close to 100km. Visibility is very limited. View can be seen maximum 50meters and no more. You can hear the wnid gushing and tress falling down onthe roof.

It would not be a good idea for anyone to be standing outside right now. They would definately be thrown off their feet. This gives you how much gale force winds is present now in Port Vila.

Cyclone Pam Your Video

Hi Philip, just watched your video clip above - thanks.

What do you mean by the term "the low is very deep"?

Keep up the great work!



Means the pressure at the

Means the pressure at the centre of the low is very deep. Typically when we have lows around or near NZ they dip down to 1000 to 985 hpa, sometimes a little lower if a low is quite powerfull. But this storm when it sits off the northeastern side of NZ late Sunday / Monday is down around 954 / 953 hpa which is as Phil says very deep!


Cyclone Pam Your Video

Okay, gotcha, thanks Aaron.  I guess I've previously just always said it was very low ;P

I have never thought of a low as being powerful, so that's interesting for me.



I wonder if Pamela Anderson

I wonder if Pamela Anderson here is likely to do a Cyclone Gissel (1968) and track down the East Coast over Cook Strait.



i was thinking the same

As there is a high on either side of its likely it will do a waihine storm path???????

Pam vs Giselle (Wahine Storm)

Whilst at this point we can't rule out Pam taking the same path as Giselle, what made Giselle such a bad storm in Wellington was that it collided with a stong southerly front on it's way south, which gave it a lot of extra energy through warm tropical air mixing with cold southerly air.  This increased the wind speeds dramatically around Wellington, with disastrous results.  I don't see any strong southerly fronts on the forecast maps for Sunday and Monday, so I don't think 're-strengthening' to the degree that Giselle did will happen with Pam.