Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Cyclone Gita: Rain and high winds expected in Tauranga

Cyclone Gita: Rain and high winds expected in Tauranga

Metservice has issued a severe weather warning for Cyclone Gita to bring damaging winds and heavy rain to parts of central New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Heavy rainfall and violent winds are expected across the northern South Island tomorrow night, followed by heavy rain in the central South Island.

Gita is the category-three cyclone that lashed Tonga last week and has now turned towards New Zealand.

Having caused damage to Tonga last week, the cyclone is taking a boomerang-shaped path that has it now lying south of New Caledonia, according to MetService's latest tracking map today.

WeatherWatch says after landfall - which occurs when the centre of the low crosses land - Gita will split into two centres over the next few hours: one on the western side of the South Island, the other to the east of the South Island.

InfoGraphic: The Big Picture for Tuesday
Cyclone Gita: Rain and high winds expected in Tauranga

However, he said the city could face strong winds and some rain but the worst hit areas in the Bay of Plenty was likely to see up to 20mm of rain and wind gusts of up to 80km/h, particularly in the eastern ranges of the region.

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

- If you live near a river or an area that is prone to flooding, pack a grab bag in case you need to evacuate. Hunters and trampers in the high country should also keep an eye on rapidly rising rivers.

The ex-tropical cyclone looks set to make landfall tomorrow, bringing gale-force winds and heavy rain.

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