Cook Islands Meteorological Service director Arona Ngari says anyone hoping to enjoy Christmas dinner at the beach this Thursday, will ‘probably’ get away with it.
He says there’s a good possibility of fine weather, though there could be a few showers coming through during the day.
Ngari is predicting much the same weather for Aitutaki, meaning there is a good possibility that residents on both islands should be able to enjoy a great day outdoors.
However, there is one possible spoiler in the form of a tropical depression which is threatening the northern Cook Islands and could produce strong winds on Rarotonga later in the week. Yesterday afternoon the system was moving northeast at about 10 knots and Ngari says it is not expected to develop into anything serious.
The official forecast predicts fine weather on Thursday apart from some cloudy periods. Boxing Day could see some brief showers in the afternoon, while rain is expected on Saturday and strong winds are expected on both days. Fine weather is forecast from Sunday onwards.
Yesterday the Fiji Met Service issued a special weather bulletin saying a gale warning was in force for Manahiki, Penrhyn and Rakahanga, with a strong wind warning for the rest of the northern Cook Islands.
Earlier in the day before the depression slowed it was moving east northeast and producing winds averaging 20 knots.
The Fiji Met Service warned the winds could increase to damaging gales of up to 45 knots at or near its centre.