Everything you need to know about Cyclone Hola

NZ 12/03/2018

Cyclone Hola won't be here for long, but it will be an intense visit from the storm. 

Weather Watch says Hola began transitioning from a 'tropical' cyclone to an 'extra-tropical' cyclone on Sunday, as its core has shifted from warm to cold. This change means the centre of the storm has widened, but its energy has been spread out, resulting in less severe winds. 

Categories don't apply to non-tropical storms, but Hola's intensity is comparable with a category 1 tropical cyclone. 

Thankfully Hola won't be sticking around for long, with MetService describing it as a "rapidly moving low". Wind and rain will lash the North Island on Monday morning, but should ease by the evening. 

There are a range of severe weather watches currently in place. Heavy rain warnings have been issued for Northland, Gisborne and the Coromandel Peninsula, as the cyclone carries a "small but very potent burst of rain" according to Weather Watch. 

Northland is expected be hit the hardest by Hola, with between 90 and 120mm of rainfall anticipated for the northern and eastern parts of the region. 

A severe wind warning for Auckland will kick in at 3am on Monday and will last until 9pm, with east Auckland bearing the brunt of the southwest gales. Coromandel can expect to see high winds until about 10pm. 

Winds are already picking up in Northland, Great Barrier and the East Coast, mostly in the 65 to 70km/h range. Gust winds could be as high as 130km/h in exposed areas of Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty, with mean speeds closer to 75km/h. 

Cyclone Hola caused severe damage in parts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia over the weekend. 

Some Tauranga residents have already evacuated their homes for fear that the storm could trigger slips in an unfinished housing development.