NZ may be in Cyclone Winston's path

The tropical cyclone is forecast to head south towards New Zealand over the next few days. Photo / MetService
The tropical cyclone is forecast to head south towards New Zealand over the next few days. Photo / MetService

The severe tropical cyclone which devastated Fiji at the weekend could be on its way to New Zealand, though with less intensity.

Cyclone Winston made landfall on Saturday as a category 5 storm, bringing wind gusts of up to 325kmh and average winds of 230kmh.

At least 20 people have been killed in Fiji, it has been reported on Monday, and more remained unaccounted for.

Read more:Cyclone Winston: Death toll rising in battered Fiji

Asesela Sadole Fong's home at south of Ba was destroyed after cyclone Winston hit. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Asesela Sadole Fong's home at south of Ba was destroyed after cyclone Winston hit. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The tropical cyclone is forecast to head south towards New Zealand over the next few days.

MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said there is a risk the cyclone could affect central and northern parts of the country during the weekend.

"But with all tropical cyclones, there remains some uncertainly associated with the forecast track.

"What we can say is that it will not have the same impact and level of destruction as it did in Fiji."

If it does track near New Zealand it has the potential to cause increased sea swells, heavy rain, flooding and damaging winds.

Winston is currently a Category 4 cyclone lying about 490km west of Nadi.

It is forecast to maintain Category 4 status through tomorrow and into Wednesday as it heads south.

- NZ Herald

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