Tropical Cyclone Hola to batter New Caledonia; New Zealand on alert
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 09, 2018, 11:30:23 AM EST
Tropical Cyclone Hola will bring heavy rain and strong winds to parts of New Caledonia through Saturday afternoon before heading towards New Zealand.
Hola is currently a Category 3 tropical cyclone on the Fiji intensity scale, comparable to a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic or east Pacific basin.
Downpours totaled 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) of rainfall across northern and central Vanuatu with local amounts up to 200 mm (8 inches).
The storm produced damaging winds as it passed near or over Pentecost, Ambrym, Epi and Malekula Wednesday night.
The roof of a classroom was blown off and some houses collapsed on Vanuatu's island of Ambrym as the cyclone battered the area, Radio New Zealand reported.
Lengthy power outages are expected in the hardest-hit areas.
Luganville and Port Vila, the two highest populated areas in Vanuatu, missed the worst of the storm Thursday night as it passed nearby.
Hola will turn southward, keeping it within striking distance of southern Vanuatu but also putting parts of New Caledonia at risk for impacts from the cyclone.
Erromango, Tanna and Aneityum in Vanuatu and Lifo Island, Ouvea Island and Mare in New Caledonia will be at greatest risk for flooding rain and damaging winds from Hola through Saturday afternoon.
The main island of New Caledonia will escape the worst of the tropical cyclone; however, occasional downpours will be possible.
Hola will track away from New Caledonia and Vanuatu Saturday night and will speed towards New Zealand, weakening to a tropical rainstorm during its travels.
However, Hola will still bring a threat for heavy rain and gusty winds to New Zealand, mostly North Island early next week. Localized flooding and damaging winds will be possible from Monday with the greatest threat across northern and eastern parts of North Island.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 3:14:44 PM EST
Residents of northern Queensland are enduring a second and more severe strike by Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen to start the weekend.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 1:10:54 PM EST
Holiday shopping plans and festivities can be disrupted as a period of snow or icy mix is anticipated to cause slick travel from northern France to Germany this weekend.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:32:44 AM EST
A deep depression in the Bay of Bengal is on track to strengthen into a tropical cyclone with eventual impacts to eastern India later this weekend and early next week.
In case you missed it: Deadly snowstorm pummels South; Strongest Tennessee earthquake in 45 years shakes Atlanta
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:30:28 AM EST
The strongest earthquake to hit the southern U.S. in 45 years rattled Tennessee to Georgia this week while a snowstorm wreaked havoc from the Carolinas to Virginia.
What can homeowners in high-risk areas do if they're struggling to obtain, keep wildfire insurance coverage?
Homeowners in wildfire-prone areas could potentially find themselves struggling to get insurers to cover them.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:21:04 AM EST
The northern edge of a storm with flooding rain in the southeastern United States will bring rain, fog, ice and a wintry mix to portions of the Northeast this weekend.
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 11:24:12 AM EST
A multi-faceted winter storm is taking aim at the United Kingdom, threatening to cause widespread travel hazards and disruptions this weekend.
Trump's new Clean Water Act draws criticism from environmentalists, support from developers, farmers
Weather News - December 14, 2018, 9:05:18 PM EST
The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed withdrawing federal protections for countless waterways and wetlands across the United States through rollbacks in the Clean Water Act.