Severe weather possible at weekend

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 18:50 11/03/2014
STORM: Lusi reached a category-one storm level near Vanuatu this morning as it sucked in power from the Pacific Ocean, that is at a bath-like 30 degrees Celsius in the region.
USNOAA

STORM: Lusi reached a category-one storm level near Vanuatu this morning as it sucked in power from the Pacific Ocean, that is at a bath-like 30 degrees Celsius in the region.

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The MetService is firming up predictions that parched areas of the North Island could receive some decent rain on the weekend.

However, it is also warning of a risk of heavy rain as far south as Christchurch just a week after flooding in the city.

The rough weather, which could also include severe gales, will come with the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Lusi, which has been moving southeast away from northern Vanuatu today.

Latest computer models showed Lusi moving out of the tropics, south of 25 degrees, on Friday, MetService said.

It would then move south towards the northern half of the North Island, and was expected to make landfall somewhere between North Cape and the Bay of Plenty on Saturday or Sunday.

"As the cyclone moves across New Zealand this weekend, it will bring with it the potential for significant severe weather from Northland to Canterbury, including intense rain, severe gales, large waves and abnormally high tides in many places.

"As with all weather systems, there is still a degree of uncertainty about Lusi's track near New Zealand. This will obviously have a bearing on the exact distribution of severe weather over the country," MetService said.

In its most recent severe weather outlook, the MetService said many parts of the North Island and upper South Island might be in line for severe weather at the weekend.

Despite that it was describing the risk of severe weather as only moderate, putting the chance of any particular weather event happening at 40 per cent.

That included heavy rain for the North Island and northeast of the South Island on Saturday or Sunday, and severe gales for all but the southeast of the North Island.

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