as the Atlantic is being hit by storm after storm the Pacific region
and New Zealand is being battered.
Hola: Could reach Category 5, winds of 300km/h, NZ in sights
Tropical Cyclone Hola has rapidly intensified to a Category 4 and could reach Category 5 tomorrow, with winds up to 300km/h as it batters Vanuatu, then heads for New Zealand.
Fiji MetService upgraded the cyclone to Category 4 this morning,
warning of sustained winds of 170km/h. Wind speed is expected to
reach 200km/h today.
Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department said this morning
hurricane-force winds gusting to 185km/h were expected to hit
Malekula and the Shepherds group tonight and in the next 12 to 24
hours. Damaging gale-force winds continue to affect the island of
Ambrym in the Malampa Province.
forecasting models for Tropical Cyclone Hola predict the storm is
likely to hit New Zealand's North Island early next week
models, from the UK Met Office, show Hola could hit the Bay of Plenty
on Monday. It would be the third cyclone this season to affect New
third model, from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather
Forecasts, predicts it could make landfall about 6pm on Monday.
New Zealand lead meteorologist Mark Todd said computer models were
still struggling to give an accurate track but it was looking
increasingly likely the storm would affect New Zealand.
has been moving slowly over Vanuatu during the past 24 hours, and
reports say gale-force winds are collapsing some houses.
roof of a classroom was blown off and some houses collapsed on Ambrym
as the cyclone arrived, Radio New Zealand reported.
said it was west of Vanuatu this morning, and moving slowly further
expect over the next day it should start to recurve to the
south/southeast, in the general direction of New Zealand.
we are lucky it will pass just to the north of us. If we are unlucky,
it could be a direct hit into the North Island.
then it will become an extra-tropical system, as always happens, but
if it does make a direct hit there will be heavy rain and high
"cut-off low" west of New Zealand has been wreaking havoc
as it moves slowly over the North Island.
have a deep low in the upper atmosphere and a deep low at the surface
generating all the rain and wind," Todd said.
rain and thunderstorms rocked much of the island last night when up
to 200mm falling in places.
Tararua and Hawke's Bay south of Hastings have a severe rain warning
in place through to 9pm.
rain warnings remain in place for Taranaki through to 1pm.
heaviest falls were in the central areas, from Hawke's Bay and the
Wairarapa through the central high country to Taranaki," Todd
than 200mm was recorded on Mt Taranaki, and 129mm in nearby Stratford
during the past 24 hours.
the East Coast 90mm fell at Castlepoint in the Wairarapa and 83mm in
lower North Island including Wellington has been experiencing
are not expected to ease off," Todd said.
will be a gradual trend off, as the weather system moves very slowly.
is a risk of more widespread thunderstorms today, mainly in the
central and upper North Island, even some hail."
today would be much the same as yesterday, and the South Island is
"the place to be", Todd said.
is a somewhat cooler air mass over the South Island, but it is going
to be sunny, with very little rain."
Cyclone Hola: What NZ needs to know
There's a "significant probability" the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Hola will sweep over New Zealand on Monday - the third major storm to hit the country this year.