Kawakawa farmer Jekope Kuruleca has seen the worst of Cyclone Evan while in Fiji and will catch the tail-end of its fury when he arrives home on Friday.
He flew to Fiji for a three-week holiday in the old capital Levuka but made his way to Suva last Friday to prepare for his return flight.
As thousands took shelter in Fiji, MetService warned Northland was likely to be affected by the end of the week but the effect would be less severe.
Although the system would no longer be classified as a tropical cyclone, it could still deliver strong winds and heavy rain from late on Friday.
Climate scientist Professor Jim Salinger said the American GFS weather forecasting model had the cyclone 500km north of Auckland by 1am on Sunday, affecting Northland and drifting slowly south.
MetService is unlikely to issue a warning for Northland before Friday but said conditions might reach warning levels during the weekend. WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said there was a 70 per cent chance of gale force winds and torrential rain in Northland during the weekend.
''It won't be anything like Fiji but it's got the potential to bring severe weather, so it's one for people to watch out for simply because many families are going out this weekend," he said.
Travellers would not have to cancel their journey but to alter them by a day or two, Mr Duncan said.
"There's a vulnerable air in the sub-tropics between Fiji and New Zealand, which brings cloudy weather, then showers in the next couple of days before it all clears up, and then rain and winds in the weekend.
"The cyclone should fizzle out next week but we don't know in which [New Zealand] coast," he said.
Mr Kuruleca hopes the weather in Fiji will clear by the end of the week.
"It's raining a lot with gusts but it's not as bad as other parts of the country. High tide is now, so low-lying areas expect to be flooded," he said from central Suva about midday yesterday.
"The government has been very good in warning people to stay indoors, putting up evacuation centres and giving out weather warnings. Everybody seems well-prepared this time."
He has not been able to get in touch with relatives in Levuka since leaving the island.
"People in my village saw two to three breadfruits growing together and said it was a sign that a cyclone was coming, and they were right," Mr Kuruleca said.
Many have taken shelter in Fiji as Tropical Cyclone Evan batters the area with winds of up to 185km/h.
Thousands of Fijians and up to 400 New Zealanders hunkered down in evacuation centres as the cyclone increased from category 3 to 4 as it made its way towards Fiji. Fiji mobilised emergency response teams, 300 disaster relief centres, and the police and military.
It was feared Evan could be as devastating as Cyclone Kina, which killed 23 people and left thousands homeless in 1993.
Low-lying areas were expecting flooding, with storm surges threatening to completely cover some islands.
About 2700 tourists in Fiji's western outer islands, the Yasawas and Mamanucas, had moved to the main island of Viti Levu or returned home early.