Update on Tropical Cyclone Pam

March 13, 2015

At 1pm today (Friday 13 March), Tropical Cyclone Pam was located 220 kilometres northeast of the capital of Vanuatu, Port Vila, moving slowly southwards. Now Category 5, the storm has winds of 220 kilometres per hour near the centre, with gales extending out to 300 kilometres or so from the centre. A Tropical Cyclone Warning is in force for Vanuatu where destructive winds, torrential rain and phenomenal seas are expected until Saturday morning as the system passes just to the east of the island group.

Tropical Cyclone Pam is expected to move out of the tropics on Sunday morning and continue on a southeast track towards New Zealand. Based on the latest forecast tracks, it is expected to be just to the east of East Cape on Monday before passing near the Chatham Islands on Monday night. You can keep up to date with the latest on Tropical Cyclone Pam via this MetService blog post: http://blog.metservice.com/2015/03/tropical-update-mar15/

This morning, MetService issued a Severe Weather Watch for northern and eastern parts of the North Island, where heavy rain and south to southeast gales are expected from Sunday evening through to Tuesday. MetService Meteorologist Peter Little commented, “Tropical Cyclone Pam remains an extremely deep low as it passes east of New Zealand, so it is likely that parts of the Watch will be upgraded to a Warning over the weekend. People should keep up to date with the latest Severe Weather information at http: //metservice.com/warnings/home and visitwww.getthru.govt.nz for information to help them prepare and get through the event.”

Aside from the heavy rain and gales that Tropical Cyclone Pam is expected to bring to parts of the North Island, heavy swells are likely to affect much of the east coast early next week. “The combination of the anticipated huge waves and strong onshore winds will make for extremely dangerous conditions near the coast,” added Little.

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

For further information please contact:
Peter Little Meteorologist (04)4700 754
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MetService issues Warnings, Watches and Outlooks for severe weather over New Zealand. 
Warnings are about taking action: 
* When severe weather is imminent or is occurring 
* Issued only when required 
* Recommendation: ACT 
Watches are about being alert: 
* When severe weather is possible, but not sufficiently imminent or certain for a Warning to be issued 
* Issued only when required 
* Recommendation: BE READY 
Outlooks are about looking ahead: 
* To provide advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings 
* Issued routinely once or twice a day 
* Recommendation: PLAN 
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