It's hurricane season in the South Pacific, and this week will be very active as, count them, three tropical cyclones churn in the Southwest Pacific.
The most recent cyclone to form is Tropical Cyclone Lusi. It's nearing Vanuatu, and it formed a couple hundred miles east of the islands yesterday afternoon. At the moment Lusi's winds are right at tropical cyclone force, but within the next 24 hours it will strengthen and will have winds over 74 MPH. It's moving southeast, and after it brings strong winds and heavy rain to Vanuatu, it'll head toward New Zealand later this week.
By the time it reaches New Zealand Lusi will absolutely pack winds over 74 MPH. So, those living in New Zealand should brace for hurricane force winds as well as heavy rain and a nasty storm surge. The good news is that Lusi will become discombobulated fairly quickly thanks to the cold waters off the coast of New Zealand plus its interaction with land.
Next we have Tropical Cyclone Gillian, and it's moving southeast towards Queensland, Australia. The western half of Cape York is bracing for heavy rain and gusty winds due to Gillian, and northern Queensland should prepare for the same. Just like Lusi, Tropical Cyclone Gillian barely has a name since winds are only at 40 MPH. Some strengthening is likely once it hits the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria, but it's not likely that winds will increase to 74 MPH or higher. Its window to strengthen is short lived though because Gillian will quickly hit land again after moving into the Gulf of Carpentaria and should quickly dissipate there after.
Last, but certainly not least, is the little engine that could, Tropical Cyclone Hadi. It's right off the coast of northern Queensland near Cairns, Australia, and it's by far the least of our concerns. Why? Because it's heading northeast into some really harsh conditions. It will fall apart within the next couple of days as strong winds way up high in the atmosphere shred it to pieces.