Hot temperatures and humidity during Winston handover

February 24, 2016

Tropical Cyclone (TC) “Winston”, currently category 2, is moving south-southeast at 15km/h and is forecast to tend more southwesterly in its track today and tomorrow. This morning the sustained winds close to the centre of TC Winston were estimated to be 111km/h, with the system over open waters southeast of Vanuatu and southwest of Fiji.

As Tropical Cyclone Winston crosses latitude 25 south overnight Thursday, MetService New Zealand’s Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre (TCWC) will take over responsibility from the Fiji Meteorological Service for issuing all official advisories and bulletins about TC Winston. Beyond this time, Winston is forecast to track towards the mid-Tasman Sea and as it does, it will lose its tropical cyclone characteristics and evolve into a mid-latitude low.

Looking at a range of global weather models, most are keen to move TC Winston across the Tasman and towards the Coral Sea, although a few still indicate tracks towards New Zealand late this weekend or early next week.

“With tropical cyclones there is always some uncertainty associated with the tracks they will take,” explained MetService Communications Meteorologist Lisa Murray, “and these can change considerably from day to day until weather models are in greater agreement. MetService’s TCWC meteorologists are continuing to monitor this situation 24/7.”

Murray also advised that, “Any severe weather effects for New Zealand will be covered by Severe Weather Warnings, Watches and Outlooks, as well as marine warnings and forecasts. As with any potential for severe weather, it’s important that people keep up to date with the latest official information at www.MetService.com.”

Closer to home, a ridge of high pressure currently sits over the North Island while the South Island has a general westerly flow.

“MetService has a Severe Weather Warning in place for heavy rain south of the Glaciers on the West Coast,” said Murray. “Meanwhile, in eastern areas temperatures will soar into the thirties for many today, thanks to clear skies and northwest winds.”

The forecast for this weekend is for warm humid air and a band of rain to affect the North Island north of Taranaki, with some scattered showers reaching further south. More rain is expected on the West Coast but is not expected to be as heavy as the rain today and tomorrow.

Official Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are reviewed and re-issued by MetService at least every twelve hours, and more often if necessary. To get the most up to date information on severe weather around the country, or any other forecasts, see metservice.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 and @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com 

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. They are 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. They are issued only when required. 
Recommendation: BE READY 

Outlooks are about looking ahead, providing advance information on possible future Watches and/or Warnings. They are issued routinely once or twice a day. 
Recommendation: PLAN 

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