Potentially 'severe' Cyclone Oma forms, could linger near New Zealand

A possibly severe tropical cyclone is forming to the north of New Zealand and it could hang around for 10 days.

Cyclone Oma has recently been named by the Fiji Met Service and is expected to track over Vanuatu and New Caledonia as a category 2 storm, forecaster Weatherwatch said in a statement.

"Oma is likely to basically hover near New Caledonia and the Coral Sea area for over a week, in favourable conditions to grow potentially into a 'severe' tropical cyclone," it said.

"It's unclear what will happen in 10 days but current modelling shows the storm becoming stronger at sea before possibly drifting further west to Queensland."

There's not much to suggest Oma will affect New Zealand, even in the parched paddocks in Northland, but Weatherwatch said there could be a remote chance.

"Tropical storms can be unpredictable so we aren't ruling anything it completely out - but the latest data and our own forecasts do not support tropical rain bringing relief to dry northern NZ - but it may be falling just offshore nearby. "

Weatherwatch said New Caledonia and Vanuatu should be on the lookout as Oma slowly tracks around them over the coming days.

It said there is the chance the cyclone could bring heavy rain and possibly damaging winds.