A tropical cyclone threatening Fiji could affect New Zealand,
according to analysts.
An :"aggressive'' low near Fiji is being closely monitored,
with WeatherWatch predicting it could be the first tropical
cyclone of the south west Pacific cyclone season.
Head analyst Philip Duncan said weather models, such as the
ones that predicted cyclones Wilma and Yasi, are pointing to
a large storm in Fiji this Sunday.
Residents should be preparing for flooding, landslides and
power cuts, he said.
"The models show this likely tropical cyclone slamming Fiji
from the east on Sunday and Monday, then it has the potential
to drift towards New Zealand,'' said Mr Duncan.
But while it is still too early to tell whether the storm
will impact New Zealand, this week's high across the country
could protect us.
"We expect the swells to possibly reach New Zealand from the
north east, but as for wind and rain it's still too early to
say but looking unlikely at this early stage.
"Historically speaking it's in a prime position to reach us,
but the one thing confusing thing is a large high currently
over New Zealand,'' said Mr Duncan.
The current high - a "main enemy" of tropical storms -
is expected to dominate New Zealand weather for at least
another seven days, he said.