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Cyclone Cook bearing down on New Zealand

Ben Domensino, Wednesday April 12, 2017 - 13:21 EST

New Zealand is bracing for another round of severe weather, with the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Cook Tropical expected to cross the country later this week.

Cook will be the second former cyclone in as many weeks to ravage the country and catchments are still saturated following last week's flooding brought on by the remnants of Cyclone Debbie.

Cyclone Cook is currently moving south away from New Caledonia and will transition into an extratropical cyclone, also known as a mid-latitude low, before reaching New Zealand on Thursday afternoon.

While the system will no longer be a tropical cyclone when it arrives, it will still be strong enough to cause destructive winds, heavy rain and a storm surge.

Widespread rain is already affecting New Zealand today thanks to a separate low pressure system spinning over the Tasman Sea. The influence of the system could cause some parts of the North Island to receive more than 100mm of rain before the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Cook even arrive. With the addition of the former cyclone, event totals are expected to reach 150-250mm on North Island and above 100mm in parts of the South Island by the end of Friday.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Cook is expected to make landfall over the upper North Island on Thursday afternoon and move south during Thursday night and Friday morning. Wind gusts near its core will be strongest during and shortly after landfall and may reach 140-150km/h in areas from about Auckland to the Bay of Plenty and down to Wellington. Gale Force winds may also impact parts of the South Island on Thursday and Friday, mainly in the east ahead of the low.

In addition to the wind and rain, large waves reaching around five metres and a storm surge will occur prior to and during the low's coastal crossing. This is likely to cause flooding in low-lying coastal areas to the east of the system's core, particularly about the Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel Peninsula.

The low is expected to move to the south of New Zealand from Friday night, allowing conditions to ease. However, another much weaker low will cause further showers over the weekend.

The latest severe weather warnings and cyclone information are available through New Zealand's Met Service at: http://www.metservice.com/national/home

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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