Weather: Cyclone Cody shifts east but 'severe weather' still on cards for Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty

Weather experts are forecasting that Cyclone Cody is shifting east, but "severe weather" is still on the cards for parts of the North Island. 

Cyclone Cody has been tracking to hit large parts of the North Island all week, but in the last 48 hours, it has shifted east confining the storm to just Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and the Bay of Plenty.

"Even with Cyclone Cody tracking east, severe weather and beach conditions are still expected," WeatherWatch head forecaster Philip Duncan says. 

"The coastal portion of Cody is likely to be dangerous and widespread for parts of New Zealand over the next few days."

The East Cape, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay are the areas most likely to be affected by Cyclone Cody with rain totals still high enough to cause slips and flooding. 

MetService is also forecasting the eastward shift of Cyclone Cody and is issuing a severe wind and rain watch for Gisborne and northern Hawkes Bay. 

"We've consistently seen the forecast track of Cyclone Cody move progressively eastwards over the last couple of days," MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris says.

"But wind and rain are still likely to turn up around eastern parts of the North Island on Monday. Waves of around 7 metres have been observed near the Bay of Islands this morning and we're forecasting large waves to turn up along the coast down to the Wairarapa in the next few days." 

The rain watch is in place from 3am Monday through to midnight for Gisborne and the Wairoa District while the wind watch is in place for Bay of Plenty east of Whakatane and Gisborne north of Tolaga Bay from 2am Monday through to midnight. 

WeatherWatch says the Cyclone Cody's shift east will have a positive impact on limiting the damage the storm could bring. 

"As we've been saying all week, New Zealand is shaped north to south and Cody is tracking north to south - so any movement Cody makes to the west or to the east will have significant consequences as to who is affected and how badly impacted," Duncan says. 

"For 48 hours now, we've seen the modelling and data shift the worst of Cody further to the east, which is positive for many people - but not for all, as the rain was really needed by many."

MetService has issued a wind and rain watch for Gisborne and northern Hawke's Bay
MetService has issued a wind and rain watch for Gisborne and northern Hawke's Bay Photo credit: MetService

Duncan says Cody's rain is expected to miss a larger portion of New Zealand meaning WeatherWatch's January outlook will move to "drier than average."

"This tropical low was a good chance for getting rain into dry areas, but like we saw with La Nina 12 months ago, it doesn't always equal wet weather here in New Zealand."