12 Mar 2014

Cyclone Lusi storm warning

11:07 am on 12 March 2014

The Ministry of Civil Defence has issued a warning over forecast bad weather later this week as a tropical cyclone sweeps down from the Pacific to northern New Zealand.

The ministry and MetService are monitoring Tropical Cyclone Lusi as it moves from Vanuatu, past Fiji to New Zealand.

At this stage, computer models expect Lusi to arrive over northern New Zealand on Saturday or early Sunday, track southwards over central New Zealand and on Monday move to sea east of the South Island, the ministry says.

The cyclone is expected to weaken to a sub-tropical weather system as it approaches New Zealand but is still expected to be a dangerous storm.

The ministry said severe weather was likely to affect many regions from Northland to Canterbury, especially over the weekend, and people needed to be prepared.

Based on current information, adverse weather conditions may be widespread including:

  • Heavy rain for the northeast of the North Island from Northland to Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne.
  • Heavy rain also for the northeast of the South Island including Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury (possibly including Christchurch which is particularly vulnerable due to its already saturated state).
  • Gale force winds for most areas of the North Island and upper South Island, with severe or damaging gales in some places depending on the track of the low.
  • Large coastal waves and storm surge for the northeast of the North Island, especially from Northland to Bay of Plenty.