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Weather Watch 22 February 2011

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Three cyclones in action today As of 12:30pm there were three tropical cyclones active over the New Zealand and Australia region.

The biggest, by a long shot, is Severe Tropical Cyclone Atu, currently moving away from the Vanuatu island group and heading towards New Zealand waters. As we've been predicting for eight days now we still expect Atu to pass quite close to East Cape but far enough away avoid bringing severe weather to New Zealand. says that Cyclone Atu appears to be stronger than Wilma which hit northern New Zealand on Auckland Anniversary weekend. Atu is also likely to be a stronger cyclone when it reaches close to us but thankfully won't be hitting us. There are currently no models that suggest a late turn towards New Zealand and certainly the current weather pattern doesn't allow for this, with high air pressure over the North Island.

Meanwhile Tropical Cyclone Carlos has ignited again on Australia's western coastline. The cyclone, which formed originally just 3kms from downtown Darwin, is this afternoon a category 2 cyclone and continues to hug the coastline. When Carlos first developed predicted it was likely to reignite over time and reach category 2 status. Latest charts from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) now predict it could climb into a category 3 cyclone by Thursday. The cyclone will affect a number of west coast towns (see map below).

And further west, well out to sea, is Tropical Cyclone Dianne, currently a category 1 cyclone and weakening. says that conditions around north western Australia will remain active for another 10 days at least meaning another tropical storm is possible in the coming week, however on this side of Australia Atu will be draining energy from north of us, so expect quieter conditions in the tropics over the next 7 days.

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