• Ex-tropical cyclone Hola will start bringing rain to Northland and Auckland this morning and brush the northeast of the North Island.
• It is expected to be largely gone by tomorrow morning.
• Heavy rain warnings are in place for Northland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula and Gisborne with up to 150mm expected in some places.
• Strong wind warnings are in place for Northland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland, Bay Of Plenty, Rotorua and Gisborne. Gusts from the southeast could reach 130km/h in exposed places.
• Swells of up to 6m are expected near eastern Northland and East Cape and could bring damaging storm surges, especially if they coincide with high tides.


Ex-tropical Cyclone Hola is pushing into the upper North Island this morning bringing wind and rain and pockets of severe weather.

Like previous cyclones not everywhere will be affected, but some places will see severe weather.

When will it arrive?

The eye of the storm is slightly northeast of Northland, several hundred kilometres off the coast.

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However, its effects are already being felt this morning in Northland, Auckland, Great Barrier and the Coromandel Peninsula with rain increasing in intensity.

The winds are also starting to pick up from the southeast.

The cyclone is forecast to stay to the northeast of the North Island and track southeast, starting to impact Bay of Plenty late morning and Gisborne and the East Cape from midday.

Hola's impacts are expected to be short-lived, with the system shifting southeast of the country on Tuesday.

Where will be the worst affected?

The worst impacts will be felt on northeast facing areas.

WeatherWatch NZ head analyst Philip Duncan said half of the storm would remain at sea, while the other half would brush Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Eastern Waikato, Bay of Plenty, East Cape, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

"With Hola half at sea it means intensity won't be as widespread as we saw with Fehi and Gita which both made direct full hits with every part of the storm systems crossing land."

Heavy rain warnings are still in place for Northland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula and Gisborne with up 150mm expected in some places.

About 100 to 150mm is forecast in the north and east of Northland through to this evening, with peak intensities of 20 to 30mm per hour.

Strong wind warnings are in place for Northland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland, Bay Of Plenty, Rotorua and Gisborne. Gusts from the southeast could reach 130km/h in exposed places.

On Great Barrier Island 100 to 130mm, and the Coromandel Peninsula 80 to 100mm, is expected through to tonight, with peak intensities of 20 to 30mm per hour.

Gisborne could see heavy falls from late morning to early Tuesday morning, with 100 to 150mm expected north of the city, especially about the ranges.

Some power cuts and trees down are a possibility in the upper North Island later today.

Swells of up to 6m are expected near eastern Northland and East Cape, and could bring damaging storm surges, especially if they coincide with high tides.

Dangerous seas/coastal conditions will generally affect northeastern/eastern areas between Northland and East Cape, including parts of Auckland.

North and northwest of East Cape along with eastern Bay of Plenty and some eastern parts of Northland may be most exposed to the biggest swells and possible storm surge as the centre comes in/tracks by.

How strong is it?

The cyclone still had Category 1 equivalent strength, but was weakening as it went through the extra-tropical transition, Duncan said.

"Because Hola is going through the extra-tropical transition the centre of the low is expanding - this reduces the peak wind speeds and makes them less damaging but makes for a larger area of blustery to gale force wind.

"The rain is still just as intense but is being broken up more, so not all areas get the heavy rain."

What do people need to do?

Weather forecasters are urging people to keep up to date with watches and warnings.

Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management said people should start preparing for the cyclone before it hit.

"Now is a good time to do a storm check, clear your yard of debris, tie down or pack away any loose equipment or trampolines and make sure your important devices are charged, just in case."

Civil Defence Northland also urged people to take "basic precautions" to minimise the risk of damage.

That included trimming back overhanging branches, making sure gutters and drains were clear, and checking boat moorings, sails and covers.

Video explaining how a cyclone is formed.