Severe tropical storm heads to New Caledonia

New Caledonia is on high alert as it braces for the arrival of a category five tropical storm later today.

The category five tropical cyclone Niran has sustained winds of over 200kph and is moving towards New Caledonia at 43km.

Julian Leduc, a Forecaster with the New Caledonia weather office, said the system is 230kms west of the far north of New Caledonia.

"And we begin to have strong gusts on the northern part of the island with 50 knots," he said.

"And its forecast to cross to the main island during the morning, and later today to the southern part of the island."

The system has been hovering in the Coral Sea for the last few days.

Meanwhile, heavy rain associated with the cyclone may impact the Vanuatu island group.

Dangerous seas will impact both Vanuatu and New Caledonia with the worst coming from the west.

Wave heights may be over 13 metres near western New Caledonia, and will penetrate into parts of Vanuatu with waves of up to 8 metres for a time.


Photo: Australia Bureau of Meteorology Caption: Tropical Cyclone Niran, a category five tropical storm