Tropical Cyclone Pam and the weekend ahead

March 12, 2015

Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam, currently six hundred kilometres north of Port Vila, is expected to move southwards over the next 24 hours taking it just east of the major islands of Vanuatu. Though the Cyclone isn’t expected to make a direct hit on the islands, the category 4 storm is forecast to intensify to category 5 during Friday morning, meaning winds near the centre will rise to around 200km/h, with severe gales affecting Vanuatu. Accompanying these damaging winds will be a period of very heavy rain and large waves.

Looking further ahead, the consensus of models that MetService routinely surveys suggests Tropical Cyclone Pam will track southeastwards over the weekend and pass somewhere near or east of New Zealand’s East Cape on Monday, whilst remaining very intense.

“Tropical Cyclone Pam has the potential to cause severe weather in the northeast of the North Island where heavy rain, severe southeast gales and large waves are likely from overnight Sunday through to early next week,” commented MetService Meteorologist Peter Little. For the latest Severe Weather Outlook, see

Little went on to say, “It’s also worth noting that there remains some uncertainty around the final track of the Cyclone, meaning that adverse weather could yet spread to other parts of the North Island and upper South Island.” You can keep up to date with the latest on Tropical Cyclone Pam via this MetService blog post:

Prior to the arrival of Cyclone Pam, relatively settled weather can be expected across the country. While a trough of low pressure makes for a showery day over much of the country today, with a risk of severe thunderstorms for inland parts of the North Island, on Friday a weakening front moves up the South Island. This is followed by a ridge of high pressure, while the trough over the North Island weakens. The high pressure remains over the South Island over the weekend, while an easterly flow develops over the North Island on Saturday and strengthens on Sunday as Cyclone Pam approaches.

“This easterly flow is good news for those going to WOMAD in New Plymouth,as mostly fine weather and southeast winds are expected for the three days of the music festival,” added Little. Mainly fine weather can also be expected on Saturday for the annual Hokitika Wildfoods Festival.

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at or on mobile devices at You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice on Twitter and at

For further information please contact:
Peter Little Meteorologist (04)4700 754

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