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Tropical cyclone alert for Fiji, could impact New Zealand next week

Newshub logo Newshub 09/01/2022 Scott Palmer
Related video: Severe weather is costing insurers more than ever. © Image - Fiji MetService + Getty; Video - Newshub Related video: Severe weather is costing insurers more than ever.

Fiji is in the firing line for a tropical cyclone forecast to hit later on Sunday - and it could impact on New Zealand later next week.

Tropical Disturbance TD03F is predicted to reach category 1 cyclone status by midday (local time) and warnings for gale-force winds, heavy rain and severe flooding are in place.

"TD03F is expected to move towards the east-southeast at about 10km per hour and the centre should pass about 260km west-southwest of Viwa at midday Sunday," Fiji MetService manager Stephen Meke told RNZ.

"Sea conditions will be extremely dangerous for sea travel especially for small crafts and not suitable for coastal activities."

After this, it should turn on Monday and start moving westwards away from Fiji and towards the southern islands of Vanuatu.

"As for New Zealand - long-range data suggests it may get close, but it's not locked in yet if New Zealand will be impacted," WeatherWatch says.

"Either way though, the storm may increase rips, currents and wave heights at some northern beaches at the end of this coming week even if it remains well offshore."

If it does hit the North Island, WeatherWatch says it will bring "much welcome rain" to very dry areas - and maybe a day of rain to campers too. However the South Island should be able to escape.

"Powerful high pressure over the South Island is expected to 'push back' against the storm as it tracks south," it adds.

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