MetService on watch over possible cyclone

A low currently sitting in the Pacific is likely to be upgraded to a tropical cyclone and expected to have some impact on Northland later this week.

Known as Tropical Disturbance 11F, the weather pattern was located 1300km north west of the Fijian town of Nadi yesterday morning and was expected to develop into a category three cyclone with hurricane force winds.

MetService weather forecaster John Law said while it was late in the tropical cyclone season, the situation brewing in the Pacific was worth keeping an eye on if people were headed to the Pacific Islands.

Although at the moment the system is forecast to remain north of New Zealand, Mr Law said MetService meteorologists would continue to monitor the system.

He said Northland would experience cloudy weather, rain and easterly wind later this week as well as during the weekend. Although the predicted cyclone was not expected to hit Northland at this stage, there was a lot of uncertainly in terms of its future movements.

"It definitely is a week of two halves with generally light winds and dry weather in the first half and a wet one in the second. It's quite an active system that will bring blustery easterlies and higher swells out at sea," Mr Law said.

He said MetService would pay close attention to the tropics this week and would liaise with its counterparts in Fiji.

Most of the impact from the cyclone will be felt between Fiji and Vanuatu with gale force winds measuring 30 to 40 knots.

Mr Law said a weak ridge of high pressure was situated across much of New Zealand at the beginning of this week, while a series of fronts moved across the lower South Island. He said a few weak troughs may bring showery weather to the North Island later in the week, while the ridge built again over the South Island.

- Imran Ali

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