Severe weather watch as Cyclone Gita heads to NZ

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Civil Defence is warning people to prepare for Cyclone Gita which is forecast to hit the West Coast late tonight.

Cyclone Gita could bring damaging winds heavy rain, slips as well as flooring to parts of central New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday. NIWA informed Te Kāea that the effects will be felt particularly in the lower North Island and coastal and sea areas along the east and west coast of the South Island.

NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll says, “Early Tuesday morning, 4, 5, 6, 7 am, that early commute time, they could be dealing with flooding, very intense rain rates that could lead to flash flooding around the capital. Early Wednesday morning the capital could be dealing with wind gusts in excess of 100km p/h. Parts of the South Island and lower North Island up to 130km p/h.”

The wind is expected to impact much of the North Island while the Rain is predicted to be concentrated more in the lower North Island, with the upper South Island areas expected to take the heaviest load. 

A State of Emergency hasn't been declared, although a severe weather watch remains in place.

People are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and act accordingly.