Cyclone Gita, packing 100km/h winds and heavy rain, is taking dead aim at New Zealand - but where will it hit?

MetService meteorologist Brian Mercer says Cyclone Gita will pack winds of 100-200km/h and will grow in intensity as it hits New Zealand.

Speaking to the NZ herald today, Mr Mercer told Kiwis to start readying themselves for the tough conditions likely to strike next Tuesday or Wednesday.

The big question was where? He said, that, as yet, was uncertain.

"But there is still a lot of uncertainty in the models," says Mercer. "It could come earlier or later, even Monday or late Wednesday.

"Exactly where it will hit is also uncertain."

Mr Mercer said the North Island was currently in the firing line but the cyclone could yet hit further south.

A sunny weekend ahead

Before Cyclone Gita makes its way to New Zealand, much of the country can first enjoy a fine weekend.

As Cyclone Gita remnants approach New Zealand, how does it look for your weekend? Source: Breakfast


Here comes Gita! Wellingtonians told to brace for heavy rain, huge swells and high winds

MetService said yesterday it should start to curve towards southeast of New Zealand on Monday.

It has spurred warnings for Wellington, who are preparing for heavy rain and wind deluge by clearing drains and warning of weather hazards. 

Pacific correspondent Ms Dreaver was sheltering on the floor during Cyclone Gita before it got flooded. Source: 1 NEWS

According to WeatherWatch, New Zealand is in for a hot day as the weather settles before Gita remnants are predicted to hit next week. 

Most of the country should see a warm, sunny day today, except for the West Coast, Southland and Otago which is expected to see rain.

Currently, there are Severe Weather Warnings for heavy rain in Fiorldand and Westland. 

TVNZ1's Breakfast reporter Matty McLean said the mostly-fine Friday makes way for a good-weather weekend, with isolated showers in the west and south of the South Island gradually clearing tomorrow. 

On Sunday, inland showers in the North Island and areas of the South Island are predicted to continue, and the forecast "isn't too bad" for the rest of the country. 

For the latest weather updates, click here. 

Here comes Gita! Wellingtonians told to brace for heavy rain, huge swells and high winds

Wellingtonians are being urged to prepare as the remnants of Cyclone Gita makes its way over to New Zealand, after unleashing havoc on Tonga and Samoa. 

Cyclone Gita, packing 100km/h winds and heavy rain, is taking dead aim at New Zealand - but where will it hit?

Jane Foster said Oxfam is still waiting for contact to be re-established with two of Fiji's southern Lau islands, after the edge of Gita brushed them yesterday. Source: Breakfast

Gary O'Meara of Wellington Water said they are checking culverts and drains that could get blocked, with crews ready to jump into action on Monday, as heavy rain and wind is predicted to lash the capital. 

The good news, it's a fine weekend for most, before Gita bares its teeth on Tuesday

"Check and clear your gutters and drains, and have a look at the street drain nearest your house. Clear any litter or leaf debris. A blockage here can end up creating a major problem," Mr O'Meara said. 

"Back in November 2016, just after the Kaikoura earthquake, heavy rain closed both State highways, highway 58 and the rail network. At the same time, we had schools closing and parents trying to pick up children, along with service crews trying to help out. It was mayhem.

"It may not happen, and that would be great, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared."

MetService said Gita was weakening, and at 3pm yesterday it was located near Fiji. 

It said in a statement Gita will turn into an "intense mid-latitude low" before it reaches New Zealand.

"But it will still be a significant and potentially dangerous system bringing heavy rain, gale- to storm-force winds over a large area, large waves/swell and storm surge."

"Local impacts are highly dependent on the track it takes, but it is likely to be a high-impact event which will most likely affect many regions across the North Island and upper South Island."

For the latest weather updates, check 1 NEWS. 


Inside Parliament Podcast: 'It was a total surprise' – English expected to go ...just not this week

There had been a high amount of speculation that Mr English would vacate the leadership position, but the timing came as a surprise to many.  

Inside Parliament's first podcast of 2018 looks at the resignation of Leader of the Opposition Bill English, his history and who the contenders are for his job. 

Corin Dann, Katie Bradford and Andrea Vance look at the shock timing of the resignation, after Mr English announced his decision on Tuesday. 

It came less than a week after the National Party's caucus retreat in Tauranga, where emphasis was placed on an English-Paula Bennett leadership team to take the team forward. 

Now, Amy Adams, Judith Collins and Simon Bridges have their eyes on the top spot to lead National into the 2020 election. 

A weekly catch up with our political reporters about the stories they've been covering. Source: 1 NEWS

Listen to the full podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes and Facebook

Could there be "a little bit of residual ill-feeling" after Bill English stepped down? The 1 NEWS politics team tell us what they know. Source: 1 NEWS