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New Zealand braces for Lusi

Ben Domensino, Friday March 14, 2014 - 14:41 EDT

New Zealand is preparing for a major weather event this weekend and Tropical Cyclone Luci brings gale for winds and heavy rain to northern and central parts of the country.

Lusi gained strength over the warm waters to the north of New Zealand earlier this week as it passed between New Caledonia and Fiji.

As the system barrels its way towards the North Island today, it is undergoing transition from a tropical cyclone (warm-cored system), to an extra-tropical (cold-cored) system.

The main difference between the two is how they source their energy, either from warm sea surface temperatures in the tropics or temperature and pressure differences in the atmosphere. Despite their differences, either can have significant impacts for anything unlucky enough to end up in its path.

In this case, New Zealand is in the bullseye. Heavy rain and easterly gale force winds will develop over Northland this evening, then spread south as far as the upper South Island during Saturday.

The New Zealand Met Service has issued a severe weather warning for the system. Rainfall totals of over 100mm are possible over parts of the North Island by Saturday afternoon and by Sunday afternoon in the upper South Island. Easterly gales accompanying this rainfall may gust to 120-130km/h over parts of the North Island, strong enough to dislodge roofing and knock down trees and power lines.

As this weather event is expected to affect a large area of New Zealand, people are advised to stay up to date with the latest weather warnings and information at http://www.metservice.com.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

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