Cyclone Gabrielle: Best and worst case scenarios

As New Zealand prepares for tropical Cyclone Gabrielle to hit MetService is asking people living in the Auckland region to prepare for both the best and worst-case scenarios.

Cyclone Gabrielle is expected to start hitting Aotearoa's shores on Sunday with weather watches in place for Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel Penisula, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

In a press conference on Friday, MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths talked about the worst-case scenario and the slightly better scenario for when the cyclone hits.

"Our worst case scenario would be it tracks pretty close and our impacts are quite large in magnitude," Griffiths said.

A lot of the Auckland region is still recovering from the severe floods which hit last month.

Griffiths said it would be a better scenario if the cyclone was further away but it would still impact the region for two reasons.

The region is "pretty vulnerable" now to more rainfall and wind.

"The system is a very very deep low when it comes near and it's a large system so even if it's further east and away from Auckland, we will still see impacts in the region."

Although the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle are expected to be felt in the North Island on Sunday, the meteorologist warned Monday and Tuesday is when the worst of the cyclone will hit.

"All of the region is at risk of impactful severe gale [force winds] on Tuesday morning."

The cyclone was upgraded to a severe category three storm.

Earlier MetService said "This could be a widespread and significant weather event for central and northern parts of New Zealand. The severity of the weather and the areas affected is highly dependent on the track of Cyclone Gabrielle."

The State of Emergency for Auckland and the Coromandel were extended for another week because of the cyclone.

Watch the full press conference above