Pre-Easter dousing for North Island as Cyclone Fili nears

The North Island can expect a pre-Easter battering from the remnants of ex-tropical Cyclone Fili.

But despite strong wind warnings and heavy rain watches in place, the worst should be gone for the long weekend.

In what Metservice is predicting as an exclusively North Island event, there are strong wind and rain watches or warnings in place from Northland down to Wellington.

Cyclone Fili is approaching New Zealand from the northwest and expected to land on Tuesday.
It has been slow-moving just south of New Caledonia for the last couple of days. However, it is going to deepen and accelerate towards New Zealand later Monday.

Metservice meteorologist David Miller said there is potential for Cyclone Fili to cause some damage.

Especially places like Gisborne, where any extra heavy rain at this point will be unwelcome. The heavy rain definitely has the potential to compound what they saw a couple of weeks ago.” Gisborne was hit hard by flooding last month and are in the path of ex-tropical Cyclone Fili this week (file photo)

Waikato Waitomo, Taumarunui, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū, Horowhenua Kapiti Coast, Wellington, Wairarapa, Tararua District, Taihape, Hawkes Bay, Taupō are under a strong wind watch which may see southwest winds become severe gales at times.

“At this stage Waikato is not on a heavy rain watch or warning. There will be some rain starting tomorrow afternoon, there could be some heavy falls tomorrow evening, and then it should start easing during Wednesday as Fili starts moving away towards the Bay of Plenty.”

Miller said that despite being declassified to an ex-tropical cyclone, Fili could still bring severe weather.

“Between now and midnight Tuesday the low is actually going to deepen further, which means the winds are going to be very strong by the time they get to New Zealand, hence why we have the wind warnings out.”

Those wind warnings come the possible chances of large and dangerous winds for coastal areas from Northland to Hawkes Bay.

While the South Island appears to be likely to miss Fili’s path, there is a heavy rain watch and warning for Fiordland and Westland.

“There is a standard front moving north over that area over Monday night into Tuesday morning.”

Miller said at this stage it looks as though Fili will clear away from the east of the North Island during Thursday.