The formation of a new cyclone in the Coral Sea has been confirmed, but it is too early to say how it will compare with its destructive predecessor Cyclone Evan.
The Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre in Nadi is today describing the new Cyclone Freda as category 1, meaning it has winds of between 63 and 87kmh.
It is predicting Freda will move south into the Coral Sea over the next two to three days, developing into a category 2 cyclone with winds up to about 117kmh.
MetService duty forecaster Heath Gullery said it was too early to be definite about where Freda would be in a week's time
The latest bulletins from Fiji did show it was expected to intensify during the next 24 hours, he said.
Evan caused massive damage and loss of life to Samoa and Fiji earlier this month, and its remains were responsible for unusually hot temperatures in this country at Christmas, along with high humidity and some heavy rain.
I n October, New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research predicted near average or slightly above average numbers of tropical cyclones for the 2012-13 season.
On average there are 10 named tropical cyclones in the southwest Pacific each season.
- © Fairfax NZ News