The remnants of the tropical cyclone named Cook hit the Bay of Plenty yesterday afternoon and is still storming down New Zealand. It is expected to track down to the east of the South Island today.
The North of the North island including Auckland weren’t hit as badly as predicted but slips, damage and power outages are reported from other areas.
The extent of the damage will become apparent during today.
While there were warnings it may have been as bad a storm as Giselle that struck in 1968 when the Wahine sank in Wellington it seems to have not been as intense or destructive.
Stuff is covering it live: Trees down and roads blocked as Cyclone Cook arrives in New Zealand
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE STORM:
- The worst of ex-Cyclone Cook is over. It’s currently sitting south of the North Island, moving south and weakening. However, it may bring strong winds, heavy rain and possible flooding to eastern Marlborough and Kaikoura on Friday morning.
- The storm is expected to sit east of Banks Peninsula about 9am on Good Friday before lying east of Oamaru about midday, and well east of Dunedin in the late afternoon.
- Strong winds are expected in Wellington early on Friday morning, and around Kaikoura and Banks Peninsula later in the morning.
- The storm has caused flooding and slips on the North Island’s east coast, with numerous roads closed.
- The Motueka Valley Highway has been blocked by a slip near Stanley Brook.
- Power is out in many North Island areas. Whakatane, Te Puke, Opotiki and Waimana have been hit by blackouts, along with Napier and Hastings. More than 2000 customers have lost power in the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions.
- Air New Zealand has suspended operations from Tauranga Airport.
- States of emergency are in place in Thames-Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty.
- Read more: What can each region expect?
- In pictures: Heavy rain hits New Zealand
What happened overnight?
“The worst of it was last evening when it came through Bay of Plenty. At midnight, the low was passing over southern Hawke’s Bay and over northern Wairarapa. The strongest winds around Bay of Plenty were last evening and the strongest winds around Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay were late evening up to about midnight.
After midnight, the strongest winds have mostly been about Wairarapa and they were gusting up around 100kmh, mostly about the east coast of Wairarapa – Castlepoint and those sorts of areas.”
– MetService severe weather forecaster John Crouch
As Cyclone Cook passes over New Zealand’s east coast, cutting power and closing roads, Alison Ballance looks at the science of tropical cyclones.
Have we been lucky?
“We have in a way. It tracked a little further east than some of the original predictions, which means that Auckland in particular didn’t get affected by it, and it probably wasn’t as deep as some of the initial predictions as well.” – MetService severe weather forecaster John Crouch
Some people seem to think that weather forecasts and warnings are promises. They are just (usually fairly accurate) predictions of probabilities. Things often turn out to be not as bad or a bit worse than estimated.
Over-warning is better than under-warning.