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Stormageddon: Horrific weather to lash New Zealand

Newshub logoNewshub 9/05/2018 Newshub staff

Fifteen-metre swells struck an NZ Navy vessel in the Southern Ocean in 2015. © Image - Supplied/Weatherwatch; Video NZ Navy Fifteen-metre swells struck an NZ Navy vessel in the Southern Ocean in 2015. New Zealand is in the firing line as an "extreme" Tasman Sea storm heads this way.

The massive storm centre will smash into Australia before lashing New Zealand with "potentially torrential" weather this weekend.

And we face a double threat as sub-tropical northerlies bring very heavy rain and possible slips and flooding.

"The main threat for New Zealand is this weekend in the upper half of the North Island as very heavy bands of rain slowly track eastward," Weather Watch says.

"There are risks of slips and localised flash floods."

Weather Watch warns there could be 100-150mm of rain on the West Coast and near gale force winds around the Cook Strait area.

The Tasman Sea will be whipped by the violent winds, with waves around five-metres tall possible.

But even these pale next to the monster waves whipped up by a giant storm in the Southern Ocean.

On Wednesday evening a buoy near Campbell Island sensed the huge wave measuring around 23.8 metres, taller than a seven story building.

"To our knowledge it is largest wave ever recorded in the southern hemisphere," MetOcean Solutions senior oceanographer Dr Tom Durrant told WeatherWatch.

"This is a very important storm to capture, and it will add greatly to our understanding of the wave physics under extreme conditions in the Southern Ocean."

Mr Durrant says it's possible there could be even larger waves out there, some measuring over 25m.

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