Cyclone Hola moves toward New Zealand, expected to hit Monday

The upper North Island is expected to bear the worst of Cyclone Hola when it hits New Zealand on Monday. 

MetService meteorologist John Law says there is still a great deal of uncertainty on the intensity and exact location of where the category 3 tropical cyclone will hit.

Hola is currently heading towards New Caledonia after passing over Vanuatu.

Mr Law says it is expected to move quickly over the northern part of the north island on Monday - moving away to the southeast of New Zealand on Tuesday. 

Based on current tracking 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.

Heavy rain and severe gales is expected for the upper North Island.
Heavy rain and severe gales is expected for the upper North Island. Photo credit: Joint Typhoon Warning Centre

This may include wind damage to structures and power lines, damage to roads due to floods and slips and coastal inundation, MetService says.

Mr Laws says parts of the South Island that bore the brunt of Cyclone Fehu and Cyclone Gita are likely to "get a break" from Hola. 

As it moves toward New Zealand, it's likely Hola will be downgraded from its tropical cyclone status. While the weekend is looking lovely for most parts of the country, people are advised to keep an eye out on weather watches and warnings.