Cyclone Hola: What you need to know before tomorrow's storm

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There were now 9m waves out at sea, and once it reached New Zealand there could be 4 to 6m swells near eastern Northland and East Cape.

Winds are already picking up in Northland, Great Barrier and the East Coast, mostly in the 65 to 70km/h range.

It's expected to lose its tropical cyclone status earlier than Fehi and Gita did, this should occur north of New Zealand on Sunday well before it reaches Northland area.

"For the northern half of the country, a pretty unsettled start to the week".

The heaviest rain and strongest wind is expected in Northland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula and Gisborne, with Auckland and Bay of Plenty likely to get strong winds as well.

It would still bring a small but very "potent burst" of rain our way. "Either way it's very close and one to monitor closely". Believe it or not, despite being just a day out, we still need more time to fine tune this.

Even 48 hours out the computer modelling is still in disagreement about the precise tracking and timing of Hola.

"Based on current forecast track of Hola, there is a high risk of heavy rain and severe gales in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne from early Monday through to Tuesday", MetService said in its latest severe weather outlook this afternoon.

Regions most exposed to localised flooding rains are: Eastern Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, Eastern BOP, East Cape, Gisborne (inland) and the northern Hawke's Bay Ranges.

"But these winds will only cause damage near the centre".

"So it's always worth being prepared for that severe weather. So if the centre remains out at sea, so too will the worst of the winds".

Hola will be morphing into a new low as it reaches New Zealand which can dramatically change the dynamics of the storm. High pressure will then begin to ridge in on Wednesday, calming the wind and rain.

There could be rain accumulations of up to 150mm and wind gusts of 130km/h for eastern parts, from Northland to northern Hawke's Bay. For now, that doesn't appear to be the case but seas and coastal conditions will be extremely unsafe in some eastern and northern faces beaches/marine areas on Monday in the upper and eastern North Island.