Cyclone developing north of New Zealand

Last updated 15:50 20/11/2012

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Summer's first tropical cyclone is brewing up north of New Zealand, weather forecasters say.

The large system, 2800 kilometres north of Auckland - and between the Solomons and Fiji - is yet to be declared as a cyclone.

But both the Fiji Meteorological Office in Fiji and the Hawaii based Joint Typhoon Warning Center say it could become a significant tropical cyclone within 24 hours.

The director of Fiji Meteorology, Alipate Waqaicelua, this afternoon warned the public to beware of the system says the weather band is expected to affect the Fiji Group within 24 to 48 hours.

In previous years storms that have formed in the area have often developed into cyclones that move southward - occasionally hitting New Zealand.

Any serious storm would be a major problem for Fiji which earlier this year saw a succession of storms inflict serious damage on its tourist belt in the western side of the nation.

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