A new cyclone is forming in the Coral Sea, just two weeks
after Cyclone Evan tore through the Pacific.
Cyclone Freda was discovered by the Fijian meteorological
WeatherWatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan said it
was still "50/50" whether Freda would form into a cyclone the
size of Evan and cause the came levels of destruction.
Mr Duncan said the cyclone formed around 400km north east of
Honiara in the Solomon Islands.
"It's a very, very long way out still for us, but there are
increasing signs that this second cyclone is certainly going
to put the north of New Zealand again at some sort of threat
risk at the start of January.
"It's formed in a perfect place for cyclones - in the Coral
Sea, which is a breeding ground for them - it's a very, very
warm body of water off the Queensland coast towards Papua New
Guinea and the Solomons.
"It's naturally wanting to pull in the south-east, down
towards New Zealand and we see a lot of these lows doing
"It will race over the Solomons tonight (and) ... bring a
period of very heavy rain which will last probably 24 hours
or so and bring some hurricane-force winds for a time and
then it will be gone."
Mr Duncan said by Sunday Freda will be clearing the Solomon
Islands and by New Years' Eve will be pushing into the
western side of New Caledonia.
Although New Caledonia was likely to be worst affected, Freda
was likely to bring rough seas to northern New Zealand, Mr
The areas hardest hit would be Northland, Coromandel and the
East Cape on January 4 and 5, Mr Duncan said.
"The interesting thing is not all the computer models are
picking it, the same computer model that picked Evan isn't
picking this one to be a big one."
Mr Duncan said the same computer models could not be relied
on every time and he was waiting for the severity of Freda to
be predicted by different sources before issuing any weather
"The fact that we're getting another tropical low so quickly
after another one and it's forming in a different part of the
tropics does show that we are in quite an unsettled pattern
at the moment, and this could last a couple more weeks.
"If people are a bit tired of the cloud around the country -
especially in the north - this may not be the end of it."
- By Brendan Manning of APNZ