Cyclone Pam to Hit Gisborne Sunday, Kaikoura Coast on Tuesday



Vanuatu will feel the full cat 5 force of Pam, followed by New Zealand

New Zealanders coast dwellers are battening down the hatches in preparation for Cyclone Pam, is due to hit Gisborne on Sunday and the coast of Kaikoura on Tuesday.

An interactive map of real-time surface level wind intensity may be found by clicking on the image below


The cyclone is currently headed for Vanuatu and rated a category 4 storm. It is tipped to intensify to supercyclone status – Cat 5 – within the next one to two days (source).

According to a report by Seline Powell writing for

Cyclone Pam to Hit Kaikoura Coast Tuesday

The Kaikoura coast could be in for large waves, significant rain and high winds when a tropical cyclone hits the South Island next week.

The cyclone is expected to then curve southeast towards New Zealand, bringing high waves and heavy swells from North Cape down through the Bay of Plenty and along the East Coast on Sunday.

MetService meteorologist Peter Little said the effects of the cyclone would not be felt in the South Island until next week, when “significant rain” and southerlies were predicted for the Kaikoura coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“This cyclone has the potential to bring quite severe weather to parts of New Zealand. People need to keep up-to-date with forecasts,” Little said…more here

The New Zealand Met Service said on Thursday, NZ time severe weather was likely to affect parts of the country and there was uncertainty about its path.

“…the system is forecast to pass just to the east of East Cape during the Monday. However, there is still a large degree of uncertainty in the exact path of the cyclone and although the centre may not pass over New Zealand, Severe Weather is likely to affect parts of the country – especially the northeast of the North Island. Stay up to date with the latest warnings 

According to the latest news from RadioNZ freedom campers on the east coast are being advised to relocate when the storm arrives on Sunday. Civil Defence advice is for people to keep an ear on weather forecasts and keep up-to-date as large parts of the North Island could be hit by the cyclone.

Gisborne Civil Defence: Cyclone Pam could be worse than Cyclone Bola

Gisborne Civil Defence said Cyclone Pam could be the worst storm in recorded history to hit New Zealand when it arrives on Sunday.

Gisborne Civil Defence spokesperson Richard Steele said forecasts out of the United States and Europe indicated Cyclone Pam could be worse than Cyclone Bola in the 1980s which killed three people and caused $82 million in damage. Mr Steele said seas were expected to experience unprecedented storm surges.

“Seas are expected to be nothing like we have seen before with 6-8m storm surges and some more on top of that depending on the wind,” he said. Coastal erosion would probably be significant with the threat of state highway closures in several places.People in coastal areas were advised to keep close eye on the sea, Mr Steele said.

Cyclone Bola was one of the costliest cyclones in the history of New Zealand, causing severe damage as an extratropical cyclone when it passed near the country in March 1988. It formed on February 24 to the north of Fiji, and tracking generally southwestward it reached hurricane-force winds near Vanuatu on February 28.

Storm damage was heaviest in Gisborne, where rain destroyed or damaged several roads and bridges. Three days of continuous rainfall led to mudslides, flooding, and erosion. Flooding killed three people when a car was swept away. In Te Karaka in Gisborne, a flooded river forced 500 residents to evacuate. A total of 1,765 farmers were affected by the flooding, accounting for about 3,600 hectares (8,900 acres) of damaged crop fields and about $90 million in crop damage (1988 NZD, $82 million 1988 USD) (source Wikipedia)