Cyclone Evan may drench North Is

Last updated 17:06 19/12/2012

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Tropical Cyclone Evan is increasingly likely to pass close to northern New Zealand, MetService says.

Evan wreaked havoc in Samoa and Fiji, and MetService is predicting heavy rain for the north of the North Island on Sunday, but it also said Evan's track remained very uncertain beyond Friday.

"On Sunday, there is an almost equal chance of it either swinging away from the North Island, into the north Tasman Sea, or heading towards East Cape. It is looking  increasingly likely that Evan will pass very close to northern parts of New  Zealand."

Chief forecaster Peter Kreft said that as Evan drew closer to the country over the next couple of days, MetService would expect to be able to say more.

"It is a very long time since there's been so much uncertainty over the track of a low through the New Zealand area."

Evan would bring a large amount of tropical air into the New Zealand region, which meant the potential for heavy rainfall in places with strong onshore winds.

"A small change in the expected track of Evan could result in a large change in the weekend's forecast for just about any North Island place," Kreft said.

Irrespective of Evan's path through the New Zealand area, Christmas Day was likely to be warm, and probably not windy, in most places. While most of  the South Island should have a dry day, the situation was less clear  further north.

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