The powerful cyclone that tore through Tonga and Samoa is now heading towards New Zealand and is forecast to bring storm-force winds and heavy rain.

While fine weather was in store for most of the country over the next couple of days, Tropical Cyclone Gita was expected to bring very humid conditions when it arrived over the North Island late Monday or early Tuesday.

Lead MetService meteorologist Bill Singh said this morning that Gita, still a Category 4 system, was now southwest of Nadi, Fiji.

It was on course to move further south, passing southern parts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia.


"It's moving in a southwest direction and there is a general consensus in the model that Tropical Cyclone Gita will move out of the tropics during Saturday.

"Gita will be heading our way generally towards the North Island. The location and the timing - there is still a bit of difference in that. But most of the models have Gita moving towards central North Island during Tuesday,'' he said.

A trough moving up from the south of New Zealand was like to stay around the upper North Island from late Sunday or early Monday, he said.

"But as Gita moves southeast towards the North Island, that rain will become widespread from late Monday."

The threat track map for Tropical Cyclone Gita as at 6pm, February 14. Image / Fiji Meteorological Service
The threat track map for Tropical Cyclone Gita as at 6pm, February 14. Image / Fiji Meteorological Service

after the category 4 cyclone ripped through both countries late last week and early this week, respectively.

The Tongan Government declared a state of emergency hours before Gita struck on Monday night, after forecasters predicted winds of up to 250km/h.

Video explaining how a cyclone is formed.

New Zealand would be spared such fierce conditions, however. Singh said it was likely the cyclone would be Category 2 ex-tropical cyclone by the time it arrived.

Much of the country would be fine today, save for cloud in Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Whangarei and Palmerston North.


Aucklanders were in for a brilliant day of sunshine with some light winds and a temperature high of 27C.

The South Island could also expect mostly fine conditions, but some showers were forecast for Greymouth, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill.

Today's forecast

Whangarei: Fine, light winds and sea breezes. High 27C, overnight low 18C
Auckland: Fine day, light winds. High 27C, overnight low 16C
Hamilton: Fine, light winds. High 26C, overnight low 12C
Tauranga: A fine day. Some morning cloud. Light winds and sea breezes. High 28C, low 16C
New Plymouth: Fine, light winds. 24C high, overnight low 16C
Napier: Fine. Light winds and sea breezes. High 26C, low 15C
Wellington: Fine, northerlies. 23C high, overnight low 19C
Nelson: Fine. 28C high, overnight low 14C high
Christchurch: Morning cloud then fine. 28C high, overnight low 12C

Dunedin: Cloudy periods. Brief showers in afternoon. 25C high, overnight low 15C