Tropical Cyclone Hola Update – 9/3/2018

By Meteorologist, Lisa Murray

This blog is a look at what has changed from yesterdays update which can be found at on this blog site. You can find further information on the Tropical cyclone page at

Tropical Cyclone Hola is currently a Category 3 TC with winds at its centre of around 150km/hr. It is slowly moving between Vanuatu and New Caledonia, but will pick up speed as it begins to move southeastwards.  In the next 40hours the winds at the centre of this TC are expected to continue to weaken to about 90km/h, but will still have some impact on the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia and southern Vanuatu. 


The global models have adjusted their tracks again and now the ECWMF and the GFS have given a similar solution to the potiental tracks bringing the low across the north of New Zealand, while the UK model still keeps the low to the north of New Zealand (this model is currently the outlayer). Each run of these models fine tune the position and run a selection of possible tracks, some of which can be seen in the image below. 


 The Severe Weather Outlook Map at on shows the areas we are currently concerned about.

Tropical Cyclone Hola, currently near Vanuatu, approaches the far north of the North Island on Monday while transitioning into an extra-tropical cyclone. Cyclone Hola is then expected to quickly move away to the southeast of New Zealand on Tuesday. A ridge builds over the North Island on Wednesday, while westerlies strengthen across the South Island.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty with respect to the track and intensity of Hola. Relevant authorities and the public are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts from MetService, since Hola is expected to cause significant damage and disruption if it does affect the North Island. This may include wind damage to structures and powerlines, damage to roads due to floods and slips and coastal inundation.

Based on the current forecast track of Hola, there is a high risk of heavy rain and severe gales in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne from early Monday through to Tuesday.

The risk for heavy rain and severe gales is moderate during Monday and Tuesday for the central North Island from Waitomo, Taranaki across to Hawkes Bay, inclduing the Tongariro National Park and the Whanganui Hill Country. The risk is low for heavy rain in Wairarapa over the same period.

Please note that the above mentioned areas and associated risks can change significantly due to possible shifts in Hola’s track affecting the timing, intensity and track of Hola as it nears New Zealand. There is enough information available that if you are in any area from Northland, through Firth of Thames, Coromandel to Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne, you should start preparing for this event as you are in the high risk area for some severe winds, heavy rain and large waves, if the system crosses the upper North Island. 

MetService meteorologists are monitoring TC Hola closely and provide tropical updates daily via the Tropical Cyclone Activity page  where you can also see hourly satellite imagery. As the cyclone moves closer to New Zealand and over colder waters, it will undergo transformation into a mid-latitude depression but will still have strong winds and heavy rain associated with it.

The MetService TC Bench are keeping a close eye on developments 24/7 and will issue Severe Weather Watches and Warnings for any areas which could see any severe weather associated with this event, along with press releases and updates on social media. We’ll post further updates on TC Hola in the coming days, and as always, you can keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings at

You can also watch the latest Tropical Cyclone video at


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