June 4, 2023

‘Exploding to life’: Looming tropical cyclone expected to head towards North Island bringing severe weather with it

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A tropical cyclone developing in the Coral Sea is expected to reach our shores from Sunday, meteorologists are warning.

It has the potential to be another “significant weather event” possibly bringing heavy rain and strong winds to northern regions that are still recovering from the country’s last weather event.

MetService said there is a high risk the current tropical low will develop into a tropical cyclone on Friday and Saturday as the system moves southeast over waters to the south of New Caledonia. On Sunday, the system is expected to continue southeast towards the upper North Island, the weather forecaster said.

“It may bring severe weather to northern parts of the country from Sunday onwards,” MetService tweeted.

WeatherWatch’s head weather analyst Phillip Duncan said the developing tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea is “exploding to life”. 

“It’s going to rapidly deepen over the next couple of days and become a severe tropical cyclone as it heads south-eastwards towards the North Island,” Duncan said during a weather forecast.

The latest tracking from the Bureau of Meteorology shows the cyclone could come directly into the north of New Zealand.

Duncan said the effects of the storm could be felt from Sunday to Tuesday.

“The exact placement of the centre of the system will make all the difference as to how far the severe weather goes down across New Zealand,” Duncan said. 

“If it remains further to the north then only the top of the country gets it, if it comes down, as the modelling is predicting, then much of the North Island is exposed to severe weather for a time.”

On Monday, MetService meteorologist Jessie Owen said if the potential tropical cyclone does pass close to the North Island, it will be another “significant weather event” potentially affecting vulnerable areas that are still in recovery mode. 

“Impacts for New Zealand will be highly dependent on the path the cyclone could take, but may include strong winds, heavy rain, and large swells on eastern coasts if it passes close to the North Island,” MetService said. 

“It is important to emphasise the cyclone’s path is still uncertain as the system hasn’t yet developed.”

It comes almost two weeks after part of the North Island was battered with torrential rain and heavy flooding. Auckland and the Thames-Coromandel District are both still in states of emergency.    

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