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Cyclone Bune Intensifying

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

As exclusively predicted by WeatherWatch.co.nz yesterday the Fiji Meteorological Service has today revised their predictions for Cyclone Bune saying the storm will reach category 3 status tonight - that means winds will be sustained at hurricane force, or 120km/h with gusts to 150km/h.

The central air pressure is now 976hPa down from 990hPa this time yesterday.

WeatherWatch.co.nz made the early call yesterday on the category status based on reliable computer models, favourable sea surface temperatures and the right atmospheric conditions.

Bune - which is pronounced "mm-boo-nay" - is currently drifting very slowly, at walking speed, in a south easterly direction.

The Fiji Meteorological Service says Cyclone Bune is intensifying.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says it's likely to become a strong category 3 cyclone over the weekend with the possibility it may even briefly touch category 4 status for a time out over the open waters and well away from land.B

By the time Bune reaches nearer to New Zealand midway through next week it is likely to have lost its technical tropical cyclone status and category levels. That, however, doesn't mean the storm will be any less ferocious. Severe gales will create huge seas off East Cape by mid next week and that will create dangerous rips and surf right along the eastern coastline of the North Island, in particular around East Cape, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa predicts WeatherWatch.co.nz.

The path of Bune takes it in a rough S shape tracking south east this afternoon, southerly tonight then south westerly overnight. By the end of Sunday the Fiji Meteorological Service says Bune will track back southerly again then south easterly. It should be tracking in a south east direction when it passes 300 to 600kms east of East Cape next Wednesday.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre expects Bune to become a strong category 3 storm by the weekend with winds averaging almost 160km/h and gusting close to 200km/h out at sea.

WeatherWatch.co.nz reiterates that it is highly unlikely that Bune will make a direct hit on New Zealand but says it may bring severe weather to East Cape and Gisborne around Wednesday next week in the form of gales and heavy rain.

Rough beach conditions next week remain the biggest risk to New Zealanders.

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