9 Jan 2009

Cyclone risk slightly higher this year

3:49 pm on 9 January 2009

La Nina conditions in the Pacific mean there is a greater than usual chance of a tropical cyclone closing in on New Zealand during the next few months.

National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research principal scientist Jim Salinger said the Northland coast in particular may be vunerable.

Dr Salinger said there is some risk in any year, but this year there is a slightly increased chance that tropical cyclone will come within 500 kilometres of New Zealand.

The tropical cyclone season runs to the end of April, though there is most activity in the southwest Pacific in January, February and March.