Tropical Cyclone Pam – Latest Update

March 15, 2015

Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam was located about 400km east of Noumea, New Caledonia at 7 pm Saturday evening. The cyclone is moving south-southeast at about 25km/hr, away from Vanuatu and New Caledonia. The visible satellite imagery at 7pm shows tropical cyclone (TC) Pam still has an eye, indicating hurricane force winds close to the centre. TC Pam is a Category 5 cyclone with 230 km/hr winds close to the centre. On its current track, the system is expected to move south of 25S, into MetService area of responsibility by 7 am this morning (Sunday, 15th March) and continue to weaken.

TC Pam is expected to have a large impact on New Zealand weather, bringing heavy rain and gale force winds to parts of the North Island. The latest warnings and watches for New Zealand can be found here http://www.metservice. com/warnings/home. A warning for heavy rain has been issued for Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and the ranges of Eastern Bay of Plenty. A warning for severe gales has been issued for the Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Eastern Northland, Gisborne and eastern areas of Bay of Plenty. Watches for severe gales have been issued for a broader area including the remaining parts of Northland, northern part of Auckland and northern Hawkes Bay. A watch for heavy rain has been issued for Eastern Northland and Coromandel including Great Barrier Island. The watch is also an alert for dangerous coastal conditions over the east coast of the North Island from Cape Reinga to Wairarapa.

Cyclone Pam is expected to bring heavy swells and very large waves to eastern coastal areas of North Island. At least 7 metre waves are expected to affect the eastern coastal areas, starting near Cape Reinga during Sunday evening then spreading to Gisborne coastal areas during Monday morning.

For further information please contact:
John Law Media and Communications 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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