A tropical cyclone picking up steam over Vanuatu has the North Island in its sights.
The storm is set to put an end to a settled week of fine weather.
MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett said forecasts of the path of Cyclone Lusi were still uncertain. "Tropical cyclones are like bulls in a china shop."
The storm would slowly strengthen in balmy tropical waters during the next couple of days, turning south in the direction of New Zealand. There was a chance cooler oceans north of the North Island could see it fizzle out, but it was highly likely the cyclone would bring heavy rains and strong winds, particularly over the upper North Island.
The bad weather was expected to reach Wellington midway through Saturday, Mr Corbett said. "Those outdoor plans won't be looking so great over the weekend."
Wellington and the lower North Island were predicted to be better off than northern areas, where severe easterly gales and downpours could cause flooding through the weekend.
More would be known about when and where the cyclone would hit in the next few days, Mr Corbett said.
The storm's arrival would end a week-long spell of fine weather courtesy of a slow-moving anticyclone.
Until the end of the week, the capital had sunshine forecast. The daily highs would reach at least 20 degrees Celsius until Friday.
Hawke's Bay and the central North Island would similarly bathe in sunshine for much of the week, though in Taupo there was a small chance of light showers.
Wairarapa looked the place to be, with clear days and temperatures in the mid-20s throughout the week.
- The Dominion Post
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