14 Mar 2013

Cyclone Sandra nears Lord Howe Island

2:05 pm on 14 March 2013

The New Zealand Met Service says Tropical Cyclone Sandra is likely to bring gale force winds and heavy rain to Lord Howe Island later today.

Forecaster, William Nepe, says the weather system is 260 kilometres northeast of Lord Howe and it is heading south.

He says the system is rated as a category one, but has deepened in the past six hours, and is predicted to strengthen in the next six to 12 hours.

He says the centre of Sandra is not expected to hit Lord Howe, but the island will be impacted by gale force winds of up to 95 kilometres per hour.

"We're already seeing an increase in the winds there. The winds are expected to increase further. They might start seeing winds up to 95 km/hr this evening, New Zealand time. And the rain may start to get heavier. We're already seeing a bit more activity in the satellite imagery."

William Nepe says Norfolk Island is less likely to be affected by Tropical Cyclone Sandra.