Tropical Cyclone Lusi

Update as of midday Monday 17th March

Cyclone Lusi retreating to open waters

Cyclone Lusi crossed the upper South Island overnight and is now pulling away across the open waters of the southern Pacific Ocean.

Pressure analysis and satellite image from 5am  on the 17th March 2014

Pressure analysis and satellite image from 5am on the 17th March 2014

Lusi brought a period of heavy rain to the Tararua Range, as well as much of the hill country around Nelson and northern Marlborough. Gusts reached 140km/h about the hill tops of Wellington, and 110km/h downtown at the wharf.

Below are the rainfall accumulation maps from 9am Thursday until 9am Monday, in 24 hour steps.

Accumulated rainfall across New Zealand for the 14th to 16th March 2014.

Accumulated rainfall across New Zealand for the 14th to 16th March 2014.

It shows that some of the dry pastures from Waikato to Taihape did not receive much precipitation at all, with 4.5mm at Hamilton. New Plymouth recorded 2.8mm, whilst  Mount Taranaki managed over 150mm during the same time.

A summary of observation for the passage of Lusi

 

Northland:

Rainfall 60–80mm generally, but Kaikohe received 105mm and PuhiPuhi 101mm.

Winds gusting 139km/h at Cape Reinga, 95km/h at Hokianga and 115km/h at Marsden Point.

 

Auckland:

Rainfall mostly 25–40mm, but a few stations recorded over 60mm (no warning issued for rain). Winds gusting 113km/h at Whangaparaoa and 90km/h on the Harbour Bridge.

 

Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty:

Rainfall generally 50–80mm, but 230mm at the Pinnacles and 156mm at Waikura.

Winds gusting 96km/h at Golden Valley and 107km/h at the Mamaku radar.

 

Waikato, Waitomo and Taranaki:

Mostly 5–15mm, but 131mm at Te Aroha and 133mm at Paeroa as well as 147mm at North Egmont and 169mm at Dawson Falls. Winds were gusting 75km/h at Taupo and 105km/h at Hawera.

 

Taihape:

Rainfall mostly 20–50mm but 66mm at Ruapehu and 40mm at National Park.

Winds gusting 81km/h at Mangatepopo and 105km/h at Waiouru, but in excess of 180km/h on the Mt Ruapehu ski fields.

 

Gisborne:

Rainfall mostly 20–40mm, but 122mm at Harapara, 142mm at Arowhana and 145mm at Hikuwai.

 

Hawkes Bay:

Rainfall mostly 10–30mm, but 215mm at Parks Peak and 83mm at the Waipoapoa Bridge. Winds gusting 122km/h at Mahia and 125km/h at Castlepoint.

 

Wellington:

Rainfall 20–30mm, but between 150 and 245mm in the Tararua Range. Winds gusted 100km/h at Paraparaumu and 117km/h on the Rimutaka Hill Road. Both Kelburn and Aotea Wharf gusted 110km/h.

 

 South Island

Tasman:

Rainfall mostly 30–70mm, but between 150 and 300mm about the inland hills and ranges, and 134mm at Takaka.

 

Marlborough:

Mostly 20–50mm, but 100–140mm inland and 87mm at Kaikoura.

 

Canterbury:

Rainfall amount mostly 20–40mm , with 38mm at Darfield and 35mm at Christchurch.

However, Akaroa received 80mm and 51mm at Rangiora.

 

Otago:

Rainfall amounts 15–30mm about the eastern coastal hills, but a few areas received just in excess of 40mm.

 Warnings issued:

We issued Severe Weather Warnings for Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty/Rotorua, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Buller, South Canterbury and North Otago. The first warning was issued on Friday morning, the first watch for the event was issued on Wednesday morning, and reference to significant weather first appeared in the Severe Weather Outlook on Sunday afternoon even before Lusi was named as a tropical cyclone.

 

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Update as of midday Sunday 16th March

The remains of Cyclone Lusi

polar sat 16 march

Here’s a satellite image showing ex-tropical cyclone Lusi lying west of Taranaki this morning.

 

temp map 16 march

The resulting tropical airmass it brought a warm start to the day for most over the North Island

Conditions continue to improve over the upper part of the North Island, with a few showers expected there for the remainder of the day.

rainfall 16 march

The image above shows the progression of the rain over the last two days and the expected rainfall over the country until tomorrow morning. Of note is that some data is missing from the middle panel, where rainfall exceeded 200mm in places over the Coromandel. A further 10-20mm is expected for the Christchurch region for the remainder of today, before starting to ease overnight tonight.

wind 16 march

As the low crosses over the central parts of New Zealand tonight, strong winds are also expected. Winds around Wellington should increase dramatically this evening as the flow turns from a sheltered and warm northeasterly to a more exposed and much more vigorous northwester. Rain may accumulate to warning amounts for South Canterbury and North Otago. At this stage we are not expecting Christchurch to exceed warnings amounts.  Keep up to date with the latest warnings at http://www.metservice.com/warnings/home

Where to from here?

pressure 16 march

Ex-cyclone Lusi, will continue to move away from New Zealand into the open waters to the southeast of Otago.

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts at www.metservice.com

 

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Update as of midday Saturday 15th March

Gales and rain spread southwards

Cyclone Lusi continued to push southwards overnight bringing with it strengthening winds and bursts of rainfall. Ahead of the worst of the weather a shield of high cloud spread across the North Island.15SATA1008Gusts of around 130 km/h have so far been recorded at Cape Reinga, closest to the centre of Lusi, but elsewhere across Northland and Auckland gust speeds have been creeping up through the morning, with gusts of almost 90 km/h recorded at sites in the city.

Surface pressure analysis from 7am 15th March 2014

At 7am this morning Cyclone Lusi was situated to the northwest of North Cape.

The strong winds and gales are forecast to continue through the day so please stay up to date with all the latest Severe Warnings and Watches

This snapshot shows the strongest gusts recorded in the hour before midday on the 15th

This snapshot shows the strongest gusts recorded in the hour before midday on the 15th

As well as the winds rain is still moving across the country with rainfall totals so far reaching 40 to 60 in many spots in the North of the country. The rain gauge at Paeroa has recorded over 80mm of rain in the 12 hours since midnight. As with the wind there is still some more rain to come and this rain is likely to head onto the South Island overnight and into Sunday.

Midday radar image

Midday radar image from the 15th March 2014

 

Where is Lusi going?

The forecast for the rest of the weekend is looking similar to that from yesterday with the centre of Lusi tracking southwards to the west of the country today before sliding the across the top of the South Island on Sunday. The change in direction is likely to bring gales from different directions, bringing the risk to places like Taranaki and Wellington on Sunday.

Here are the latest forecast positions into the start of next week. The thin black lines are isobars which represent lines of equal pressure on the map, like contour lines on a map, where these lines are closest the winds are strongest. Around centres of low pressure in the southern hemisphere winds travel in a clockwise direction, but remember that New Zealand’s rugged terrain plays a large part in local wind speeds and directions

Forecast charts for the next 36 hours

Here are the forecast charts for the next few days.

Please stay up to date with all the latest Severe Warnings and Watches

 

 

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Update as of midday Friday 14 March

The approach of Cyclone Lusi

Cyclone Lusi, now a category 2, has moved out of the tropics south of 25S, and is now approaching northern New Zealand.

he image above shows the analysis and satellite picture at 7am on the 14 March.

The image above shows the analysis and satellite picture at 7am on the 14 March.

RSMC Wellington has taken over the reins of Lusi from RSMC Fiji this morning, currently a Category 2 tropical cyclone, and at 5am is lying about 800km north of Cape Reinga. Lusi’s speed of movement is about 35 km/h, and on its current track is expected to pass just to the northwest of North Cape around midday Saturday.

Lusi is showing signs of becoming an extra-tropical system, with cloud shearing away from its centre, but it still contains a lot of energy and severe weather.

MetService has been monitoring this system for several days, and there are severe weather warnings and watches for a number of North and South Island places. As this low passes by the far North, a period of heavy rain and easterly gales is likely from Northland to Gisborne. The upper South Island is also likely to see substantial rainfall from late Saturday into Sunday. Rainfall in Christchurch will be from an easterly direction, and amounts will be modest by warning standards.

Ensemble model guidance produced by UKMO at midnight on the 13th March 2014 for the movement and position of ‘Lusi’.

Ensemble model guidance produced by UKMO at midnight on the 13th March 2014 for the movement and position of ‘Lusi’.

MetService will continue to update our blog daily as the storm approaches to highlight the risks to New Zealand. You can view the latest Severe Weather Video update here: http://metservice.com/tv/#severe

Please stay up to date with all the latest Severe Warnings and Watches

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Update as of midday Thursday 13 March

Cyclone Lusi now a Category 3 and moving southwards

Cyclone Lusi has intensified into a Category 3 cyclone and is beginning to move southwards toward northern New Zealand. It should pass well east of Norfolk Island.

ir sat picture of lusi

The image above shows the analysis and satellite picture at 5am on the 13th of March 2014. Tropical Cyclone Lusi is located near the centre of the image. The North Island of New Zealand is showing at the bottom of the image.

 

On the current track, Lusi is forecast to cross latitude 25 South around midday Friday New Zealand time, moving from the jurisdiction of RSMC (Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre) Fiji into RSMC Wellington’s area of responsibility. You can read more about the RSMC regions and cyclone categories in this blog post: http://blog.metservice.com/2013/10/tropical-cyclone-season-2013-14/

cyclone forecast track fiji met

The track map produced by the Fiji Meteorological Service shows Lusi taking a southerly track around 175E.

The expected track of Lusi is slowly becoming more defined, but there are still some subtle yet significant variations in speed and intensity. This can be seen most clearly on the comparison between global models valid for 1pm on Saturday.

march 13 global model runs 1pm saturday

 

The images above show the forecast position of Lusi for 1pm on Saturday (New Zealand time) according to five different computer models.

Ensemble guidance is showing the track to be around, or just to the north of, North Cape before re-curving across the upper South Island. There is increasing agreement between the various modelling centres.

Ensemble strike prob 12 marchEnsemble positions and track prob 12 march

Regardless of the eventual cyclone track, Lusi is expected to bring a period of heavy rain and gale to severe gale winds to many places from Northland to Canterbury. A watch has been issued for this event, and an increasing number of regions will be included as the finer details become clearer. Severe Weather Warnings will be issued on Friday.

13SWO

In the meantime, please keep up to date with Fiji Met  while Lusi remains in the tropics as well as the MetService Severe Weather Outlook

If necessary, warnings and watches for this event will be issued 24–36 hours in advance on our website. There is more information about severe weather warnings, watches and outlooks in this blog post http://blog.metservice.com/2013/10/warnings-watches-and-outlooks/

This has the hallmarks of being a significant weather event so it is important to read CDEMs information on ‘Get Ready, Get Thru.’

This blog will be updated regularly.

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Update as of midday Wednesday 12 March

Tropical Cyclone Lusi now a Category 2

Tropical Cyclone Lusi has been moving slowly south-southeast and is currently lying just east of Port Vila where it brought heavy rain and strong gales.

Pressure analysis and satellite image from 5am  on the 12th March 2014

The image above shows the analysis and satellite picture at 7am on the 12 March. Tropical Cyclone Lusi is located near the centre of the image, marked with a white T. A remnant of ex-tropical cyclone Hadi is denoted by a white L.

Lusi is expected to intensify to a Cat 3 (winds 119–157 km/h) cyclone Wednesday evening while moving southeast over the open waters of southern Vanuatu and Fiji.

TC Lusi Warning 22

The track map produced by the Fiji Meteorological Service shows Lusi taking a southerly track around 175E.

Computer models are still predicting Lusi to move out of the tropics (south of 25?South) on Friday as it moves in a southerly direction towards the upper North Island. At this stage, the cyclone is expected to make landfall somewhere between North Cape and western Bay of Plenty during Saturday or Sunday, before re-curving across New Zealand and moving swiftly out over open waters east of the South Island on Monday. The various computer models are still struggling to agree on its future location and speed of movement, but a track over the upper North Island followed by a path over the upper South Island is currently favoured.

UKMO Ensemble

The above images show the Ensemble model guidance produced by UK Met Office of the movement and position of Lusi. The image on the left shows a swathe of possible tracks with colours to distinguish the range of probabilities. The image on the right shows the average track of all the forecast tracks.

The above images show the Ensemble model guidance produced by UK Met Office of the movement and position of Lusi. The image on the left shows a swathe of possible tracks with colours to distinguish the range of probabilities. The image on the right shows the average track of all the forecast tracks.

As this system moves across New Zealand this weekend, it will bring with it the potential for a period of significant severe weather for most of the North Island and the northern half of the South Island. A burst of intense rain and gales are likely. A Severe Weather Watch has been issued for Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula as a heads up. Further Severe Weather Watches and Warnings are likely in the coming days.

As the track of Lusi has the potential to  be erratic, the exact distribution of severe weather is likely to change between now and Lusi’s arrival over New Zealand.

In the meantime, please keep up to date with Fiji Met  while Lusi remains in the tropics as well as the MetService Severe Weather Outlook

If necessary, warnings and watches for this event will be issued 24–36 hours in advance on our website. There is more information about severe weather warnings, watches and outlooks in this blog post http://blog.metservice.com/2013/10/warnings-watches-and-outlooks/

This has the hallmarks of being a significant weather event so it is important to read CDEMs information on ‘Get Ready, Get Thru.’

This blog will be updated regularly.

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Update as of midday Tuesday 11th March 2014

Tropical depression 18F was upgraded and named Tropical Cyclone Lusi during the morning of Monday 10th March while lying over northern Vanuatu.

ressure analysis and satellite image from 7am  on the 11th March 2014

The analysis and satellite picture at 7am on the 11 March. Cyclone Hadi is on the left and Lusi near the top centre of the image.

Lusi is currently lying just east of Espiritu Santo and moving very slowly east-southeast. It is expected to intensify to Cat 3 (early hurricane intensity) on Wednesday midway between Vanuatu and Fiji (New Zealand can be seen at the bottom of the picture above). ‘Hadi’ is expected to move northeast towards the southern Solomon Islands.

Tropical cyclone track map

This track map was issued by the Fiji Meteorological service at 8:27am (NZ local time) on the 11th March 2014. For the latest information from Fiji head to www.met.gov.fj

The track map produced by the Fiji Meteorological Service shows Lusi taking a path with its most damaging effects expected to stay to the west of Fiji.

Currently, computer models are expecting Lusi to leave the tropics (by moving south of 25º South) on Friday before heading in a southerly direction towards the northern half of the North Island. At this stage, the cyclone is expected to landfall over New Zealand somewhere between North Cape and the Bay of Plenty during Saturday or Sunday, before re-curving and moving swiftly out over open waters to the east of the South Island on Monday.

Computer model guidance from the UKMO

The above images show the Ensemble model guidance produced by UK Met Office of the movement and position of Lusi. The image on the left shows a swathe of possible tracks with colours to distinguish the range of probabilities. The image on the right shows the average track of all the forecast tracks.

As the cyclone moves across New Zealand this weekend, it will bring with it the potential for significant severe weather from Northland to Canterbury including intense rain, severe gales, large waves and abnormally high tides in many places.

As with all weather systems, there is still a degree of uncertainty about Lusi’s track near New Zealand. This will obviously have a bearing on the exact distribution of severe weather over the country.

In the meantime, please keep up to date with Fiji Met  while Lusi remains in the tropics as well as the MetService Severe Weather Outlook

If necessary, warnings and watches for this event will be issued 24–36 hours in advance on our website. There is more information about severe weather warnings, watches and outlooks in this blog post http://blog.metservice.com/2013/10/warnings-watches-and-outlooks/

This has the hallmarks of being a significant weather event so it is important to read CDEMs information on ‘Get Ready, Get Thru.’

This blog will be updated regularly.