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Cyclone Hola keeps the worst offshore

MetService News Release
12 March 2018

Cyclone Hola keeps the worst offshore, but still severe weather for some

At 7:00am this morning Cyclone Hola was 500km to the north of New Zealand, and accelerating closer to the country. Although the closest approach is expected to be overnight tonight near to East Cape, the centre is not predicted to track over land, and the worst winds and rain will stay offshore. However, heavy rain and gales are still forecast for some areas, with Severe Weather Warnings issued for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne.

“Winds in Northland are picking up, with gusts of 117km/h recorded in Kaeo at 10:00am”, said meteorologist Tom Adams, “A band of rain is also sinking south, with heavy falls expected to reach Gisborne this evening, with a chance of thunder and downpours there as well.”

Despite slowing overnight last night, Cyclone Hola is expected to pick up speed today and move rapidly past the North Island to clear the country tomorrow morning, followed by cool southwesterly winds and a few showers. Calmer weather continues until a front reaches the country on Thursday, bringing rain and strong northwesterly winds to the lower South Island, before sweeping over the rest of the country on Friday.

Meanwhile MetService is closely monitoring another tropical depression in the Coral Sea that has a moderate chance of growing to a Tropical Cyclone from Tuesday onwards, and could affect the Queensland coast on Thursday. Although the remains of that system may interact with the front over New Zealand at the end of the week, it is too early to know if there will be additional impacts for the country from the tropical air that this would bring.

"Any uncertainty in the weather increases as we look further out”, explained Adams, “and fast-moving lows packing a lot of action in a small area are inherently harder to pin down than calmer weather. Once Hola has blown through, the models will be better positioned to provide answers about any severe weather for Friday. The latest information will always be published in our severe weather outlook on”


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