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Severe Weather associated with Cyclone Gita to begin on Tuesday

February 19, 2018

MetService have issued several Severe Weather Warnings and Watches for the impacts of Cyclone Gita.

Senior Meteorologist at MetService, Lisa Murray said, “In the last 72 hours, the track and potential impact areas of Cyclone Gita are becoming clearer. The area of concern over the country has moved further south, so this does change the impact areas.

MetService have Severe Wind Warnings for the upper two thirds of the South Island and some western areas of the North Island. The rest of the North Island is on Watch for potential severe winds Tuesday,” continued Murray.

The severe weather will begin early on Tuesday, ahead of Gita’s scheduled arrival on Tuesday evening. For the North Island, strong northerly winds will likely have the biggest impact, with especially strong winds for the Taranaki, Taihape and Whanganui regions. For Wellington and the upper South Island, heavy rain will also have significant effects, beginning early on Tuesday and continuing for the entire day in many places.

The latest Severe Weather Warnings and Watches detail the timing and intensity of the weather for each affected region. Gita moves very quickly across the country, so for some places the significant weather will be short lived. However, even when Gita does pull away to the east of the country, a small area of low pressure will remain near the west coast, sliding up the South Island and lower North Island later in the week.

“Even though the deep low pressure system moves away from us early on Wednesday, the effects of Gita will last a few more days, with further rain likely about central New Zealand until Thursday,” added Murray.

Alongside the wind and rain, Gita will have further impact for maritime and coastal areas. The strong winds could generate swell of up to eight metres to the west of central New Zealand. When considering the wind-waves on top of this, some individual waves could be even higher. Combining the higher than normal sea levels with the very large waves mean coastal inundation is possible for low lying regions around central New Zealand, especially at high tide.

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 or on mobile devices at You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook@metservice and  @MetServiceWARN on Twitter and at

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