North Islanders are bracing for Cyclone Gabrielle to soon hit New Zealand shores.
The category three severe tropical cyclone is expected to be a significant weather event bringing wild weather to northern and central New Zealand from Sunday onwards.
Regions at risk currently include Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.
Locals are urged to prepare for the looming storm.
Where is Cyclone Gabrielle tracking?
Cyclone Gabrielle is currently tracking southeast over the Coral Sea.
It is expected to move southeast past Norfolk Island Saturday evening, before heading towards northern New Zealand.
On Sunday, Cyclone Gabrielle should start to lose its tropical characteristics as it encounters cooler seas and strong winds aloft, MetService said. However, it is still expected to remain a very deep low as it continues moving towards the upper North Island.
The weather agency said the cyclone is likely to bring severe weather to many parts of New Zealand from Sunday starting in the north and spreading to other parts of northern and central New Zealand early next week.
Cyclone Gabrielle is now in the MetService area of responsibility. That means cyclone tracks come from them and will be updated every six hours.
What weather can you expect from Cyclone Gabrielle?
The severity of the impacts from Cyclone Gabrielle largely depends on how close it tracks to New Zealand.
Forecasters can not yet be certain of how close the cyclone will get to our shores. However, MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said during a press conference on Friday even if the cyclone is further east and away from Auckland, the region will still see impacts.
Forecasted impacts (according to MetService)
- Heavy rain up to 400mm in some areas
- Strong winds
- Waves up to 4m
- Dangerous coastal conditions
How to prepare?
For information on how to prepare for the cyclone visit the Government's Get Ready website and stay up to date with information from your local emergency management and Civil Defence.
For more Newshub stories on Cyclone Gabrielle click here.
To read more on how to prepare yourself for the cyclone click here.
To read more about what to do if your house floods click here.
To read more on how to sandbag your house click here.