Weather: New map reveals which areas will see 'significant impacts' from Cyclone Hale

A new map has shown where in New Zealand Cyclone Hale may have the biggest impact.

The storm, which has formed over the Coral Sea but won't be a tropical cyclone by the time it hits New Zealand, is approaching the North Island on Monday. This will bring rain and strong east to southeast winds to many areas, MetService said earlier.

According to a map released by NIWA, the parts of New Zealand where "significant impacts" from Cyclone Hale are likely is the area north of Auckland to the Northland border, the Coromandel, and the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions. There is a high chance rainfall in these areas will exceed 50mm, NIWA said.

Areas that receive heavy rain have an elevated risk of flooding, slips, and wind damage, it added.

"The worst weather is expected Tuesday. However, lingering impacts are possible [in] south and east parts of the North Island Wednesday," NIWA tweeted.

MetService has issued three heavy rain warnings as Cyclone Hale approaches. For the Coromandel Peninsula, the warning lasts from 8pm on Monday to 9pm on Tuesday. Gisborne's also starts at 8pm on Monday, but instead ends at 11pm on Tuesday. And in Hawke's Bay it will last from 3am on Tuesday to 8am on Wednesday.

MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said there will be a few wet days for the Coromandel this week.

"Remember, this is falling on top of saturated soil, given the deluge last week, and all of the effects we saw last week - the slips, the flooding, the road closures - could well be repeated over the next couple of days," he said.

But there isn't just heavy rain, there are strong winds too.

"It's gale-force easterlies affecting the eastern and central parts of the upper North Island," Hines said.

"At the moment, we've only got strong wind watches. A lot of the wind looks to be gusting 80, 90, maybe 100km/h, and that is just below the threshold for a weather warning."

There is a strong wind watch for the Coromandel Peninsula and Great Barrier Island from 9am to 10pm on Tuesday, for Auckland and the lea of the Kaimai Range from 3am on Tuesday to 1am on Wednesday, and for Bay of Plenty and Taupō from 10am on Tuesday to 1am on Wednesday.

Earlier, MetService said Cyclone Hale will move southwest across Waikato before swinging over Taupō and southeast towards Hawke's Bay, where it will leave New Zealand.

"Cyclone Hale is approaching the North Island today, bringing rain and strong east to southeast winds to many areas," Metservice said on Monday morning.

"Watches and warnings for heavy rain and severe gales are now in force. This is likely to be a significant adverse weather [event] with widespread effects, and more areas are likely to be added as the system moves closer and its exact track and intensity becomes more certain.

"People are urged to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings, and to stay alert to bulletins from local authorities."