Tropical Cyclone Gita heads towards New Zealand

Radio New Zealand

Auckland, February 18, 2018

Central New Zealand will start feeling the effects of Cyclone Gita from late tomorrow (Monday, February 19, 2018), forecasters have said.

The Cyclone is currently tracking South-West of New Caledonia, but forecaster Rob Kerr said that it was expected to curve South-East and head towards New Zealand.

Heavy Rain forecast

Though it was likely to be downgraded to an Ex-Tropical Cyclone by the time it reaches New Zealand, heavy rain and strong winds were still forecast.

Mr Kerr said that the Centre of the storm would pass over the country on Wednesday.

Once the Cyclone had made its turn, forecasters would begin to have a better idea of what areas were likely to take the biggest hit.

Assessing the impact

As well as the wind and rain, Metservice would be assessing what impact the timing of high tides would have on storm surges in coastal areas, Mr Kerr said.

"We were very unlucky with (Ex-Cyclone) Fehi recently that high tide peaked at the time when the Tropical Cyclone and biggest swells were coming through. So, that is something we have to look at with the variation of timing and potential for high tides affecting those areas,” Mr Kerr said.

Meanwhile, all alerts have been lifted in New Caledonia as Tropical Cyclone Gita heads towards the South.

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Photo Caption:

Satellite imagery of Tropical Cyclone Gita (MetService Picture through RNZ)

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