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.
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.
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.
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.
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.