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Cyclone Hale: 9-11th January 2023

After starting as a tropical depression (93P) on January 4th in Far North Queensland, late on 8th January a tropical storm 07P over the Coral became organised.

Tropical storm 07P on 8th January
Tropical storm 07P on 8th January over the Coral Sea

Late on 8th January, the storm was named tropical cyclone 'Hale' by the Fiji Met Service.

High levels of moisture began to flow into the upper North Island combining with short-wavelength violet light creating the visual phenomenon called 'scattering'. at sunset.

Auckland sunset 8th January

Tropical cyclone Hale was short lived, as it encountered volatile wind shear and cooling sea surface temperatures. The extratropical transition commenced as the system moved SE towards the Kermadec Islands, MetService NZ then took over responsibility from Fiji Met.

First MetService NZ track map for Cyclone Hale
First MetService NZ track map for Cyclone Hale

Cyclone Hale moved into NZ waters early on 10th January creating a vigorous low level jet stream into the eastern Coromandel Peninsula and parts of North Auckland and the lower Northland.

Wind gust up to 69 knots (128 km/h) were recorded on Channel Island but it was the rain that did the most damage in a short period of time.

24 hour rainfall summary to 12pm, 10th January :

219 Pinnacles 180 Kuaotunu 158 Wellsford (Springhill airfield) 152 Whitianga 137 Matakana 128 Whangarei 117 Coromandel town 114 Omaha 112 Kawau Island 101 Mangawhai 88 Great Barrier Is 60 Thames 56 Waiheke Island (Onetangi) 34 Auckland city

Satellite image 12pm, 10th January 2023. Cyclone hale
Satellite image 12pm, 10th January 2023

Cyclone Hale continued SW approaching Great Barrier Island in the evening.

Cyclone Hale's position at 7:30pm on 10th January

Overnight, Cyclone Hale’s centre moved through the Hauraki Gulf and directly over Auckland city and then over the Awhitu Peninsula as verified on MetService radar.

MetService radar image during the night display the spiral banding of the low

Pressure got down to 985 hPa on the Auckland’s harbour bridge.

Private weather station observations verified against the MetService harbour bridge of 985 hPa at 3.30am.
Visible / IR satellite image from sunrise on 11th January

Cyclone Hale then after a few hours in the Tasman moved through the Central North Island and out to Hawkes bay and on its way to the mid-latitude graveyard of the subpolar region. It will remembered as a high impact extratropical cyclone for the upper North due to flooding, slips and coastal erosion.

Waihi beach aftermath (credit life saving club)

Meteorological summary of Cyclone Hale here

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