A tropical cyclone will "directly track" towards New Zealand next week after it brews across the Tasman, forecasters warn.
According to NIWA, a tropical low in the Coral Sea is expected to form into a tropical cyclone by late Friday.
"It will track southeast over the weekend," NIWA said on Twitter. "It's possible, though not certain, NZ receives impacts next week."
WeatherWatch says the cyclone could just brush by the North Island.
"Computer models are lining up in agreement that a tropical cyclone will directly track towards New Zealand early to mid next week - but it’s not yet locked in if the storm will bring severe weather here."
But a high-pressure system developing over Tasmania could keep the tropical cyclone north of New Zealand.
"If the high weakens, or remains over the Tasmania area, it could allow the cyclone to directly move into New Zealand," WeatherWatch says.
"The rain would be a very positive thing and likely end the droughts - but it could also be too much of a good thing with increased chances of flooding, slips and wind-related issues."
Australian forecasters have named the cyclone as "Gretel". Its Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says it's watching the development of "two tropical systems" - one of which in the east is expected to move into the Coral Sea on Thursday.
"At this stage, the system is forecast to move away from the Queensland coast which is good news, because it means a direct coastal impact is extremely unlikely, but we do still expect gale-force winds developing from the northern and central coast from Thursday," BoM meteorologist Andrea Peace says.