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Cyclone Gita forecast to impact New Zealand - be prepared

The next few days will see most of the country experience relatively settled yet humid weather, apart from the west coast of the South Island where there are Severe Weather Warnings and Watches in place for heavy rain easing Saturday afternoon.

Leading into next week, New Zealanders should prepare for the impacts of Cyclone Gita.

MetService senior meteorologist Lisa Murray said, “The latest information indicates that a deep low, currently Tropical Cyclone Gita, will impact New Zealand early next week. However, there is still a large spread of possible tracks and timing, leaving regional impacts uncertain at this stage - but likely significant.”

“Although there is uncertainty regarding exactly where and when Gita will cross New Zealand, models currently indicate that the centre will move over the North Island on Tuesday, with the effects starting during Monday,” added Murray.

This is likely to be a high impact event which will affect many regions across the North Island and upper South Island.

Murray continued, “Tropical Cyclone Gita will transition into an intense mid-latitude low before arriving on our shores, but it will still be a significant and potentially dangerous system bringing heavy rain, gale- to storm-force winds, large waves/swell and storm surge. Local impacts are highly dependent on the track it takes.”

MetService advises people to take time over the weekend to prepare for potential severe weather impacts. Civil Defence’s Get ready Get thru website is a very helpful place to start.

Murray emphasised, “MetService will keep you informed about any potential severe weather for your region through our Severe Weather Outlook, Watches and Warnings. All are available on the MetService websites, NZ Weather app, by email (subscribe here) and on Twitter and Facebook.”

As always, MetService is working closely with regional councils and emergency management teams, and recommends people follow advice from their local Civil Defence and council.

“The coming days will bring more clarity to exactly where and when impacts are likely to be the most severe,” said Murray. “Regardless, it is wise to be prepared.”

A variety of possible future tracks of TC Gita (which will become Cyclone Gita when it leaves the tropics in the coming days). Most tracks suggest the centre of the cyclone will cross the North Island on Tuesday, however effects from the cyclone are likely to be felt across a broad area of the country.

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