Category Archives: South Pacific

Tropical Cyclone Tino Speeds Across Tonga

Tropical Cyclone Tino sped quickly across Tonga on Saturday.  The core of Tino passed northeast of Nuku Alofa and the most populated island of Tonga.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Tino was located at latitude 24.0°S and longitude 170.6°E which put it about 370 miles (595 km) east-southeast of Nuku Alofa, Tonga.  Tino was moving toward the southeast at 26 m.p.h. (42 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 970 mb.

The strongest part of Tropical Cyclone Tino passed northeast of the more populated Tongatapu Group of islands in Tonga.  The core of Tino passed closer to the Vava’u Group and Ha’apai Group of islands in Tonga.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 350 miles (565 km) from the center of Tino.  Tropical Cyclone Tino brought gusty winds and heavy rain to parts of Tonga.

Tropical Cyclone Tino began to weaken after it passed across Tonga.  Tino moved over water where the Sea Surface Temperature was cooler than 26°C.  Tropical Cyclone Tino moved southwest of an upper level ridge over the South Pacific Ocean.  The ridge caused moderate vertical wind shear and the wind shear contributed to the weakening of Tino.  Colder Sea Surface Temperatures and moderate vertical wind shear will cause Tropical Cyclone Tino to make a transition to an extratropical cyclone during the next two days.

Tropical Cyclone Tino Brings Wind, Rain to Eastern Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Tino brought wind and rain to eastern Fiji on Friday.  The core of Tino moved east of Vanua Levu but the large circulation around the tropical cyclone brought wind and rain across eastern Fiji.  There were reports of flash floods in some parts of Fiji.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Tino was located at latitude 18.6°S and longitude 176.7°W which put it about 190 miles (305 km) north-northwest of Nuku Alofa, Tonga.  Tino was moving toward the southeast at 27 m.p.h. (45 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 964 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Tino intensified into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon as it moved over eastern Fiji.  The inner end of a rainband wrapped around the center of circulation and a possible eye was seen on some infrared satellite images.  The strongest winds were occurring in a ring of thunderstorms around the center of circulation.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of the tropical cyclone.  There was a large circulation around Tropical Cyclone Tino.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 400 miles (645 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Tino was 11.5.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 22.6 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 34.1.  Tropical Cyclone Tino was capable of causing widespread mostly minor damage and smaller areas of more significant damage.

Tropical Cyclone Tino will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 12 hours.  Tino will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move around the southwestern portion of an upper level ridge over the South Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will produce northwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough during the next 12 hours to prevent intensification.   The wind speed will increase in about a day or so and more vertical wind shear will cause Tropical Cyclone Tino to weaken when that occurs.

Tropical Cyclone Tino will around the southwestern end of a high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Tino toward the southeast.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Tino could affect Tonga within 12 hours.  Tino will be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon when it moves over Tonga.  It will bring strong winds and rain.  Locally heavy rain could cause flash floods.

Tropical Cyclone Tino Forms North of Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Tino formed north of Fiji on Thursday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Tino was located at latitude 14.3°S and longitude 178.3°E which put it about 155 miles (250 km) west-northwest of Labasa, Fiji.  Tino was moving toward the southeast at 13 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 985 mb.

The circulation around a large area of low pressure north of Fiji consolidated around a distinct low level center of circulation on Thursday and the Fiji Meteorological Service designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Tino.  The circulation around Tino was still organizing.  A primary band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the northern, eastern and southern sides of the circulation.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were forming around Tropical Cyclone Tino.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 400 miles (645 km) north of the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center in the southern half of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Tino will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Tino will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move around the southwestern part of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce northwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will generate moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear will slow the rate of intensification, but the shear will not be strong enough to keep Tropical Cyclone Tino from getting stronger.  Tino could intensify into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon during the next 24 to 36 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Tino will move southwest of a high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Tino toward the southeast during the next few days.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Tino could be near the eastern end of Vanua Levu in about 12 hours.  Tino could approach Tonga in about 36 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Tino will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Vanua Levu, Taveuni and many of the smaller islands in eastern Fiji.  Locally heavy rain  could cause flash floods in some locations.

Weakened Tropical Cyclone Sarai Moves Across Tonga

A weakened Tropical Cyclone Sarai moved across Tonga on Monday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Sarai was located at latitude 20.6°S and longitude 174.9°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Nuku Alofa, Tonga.  Sarai was moving toward the northeast at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai moved south of an upper level ridge on Monday.  The upper level ridge produced strong westerly winds which blew across the top of Sarai.  Those winds caused strong vertical wind shear and they blew the tops off of thunderstorms in Tropical Cyclone Sarai.  The circulation in the lower levels of Sarai remained intact, but it consisted of showers and lower clouds.  The wind speed gradually decreased during Monday.

The center of Tropical Cyclone Sarai passed just north of the Tongatapu Group of islands.  Sarai passed over the Ha’apai Group of islands.  Tropical Cyclone Sarai brought winds to tropical storm force and squally weather to parts of Tonga.  Rainfall amounts were relatively light because the wind sheared the tops off of any thunderstorms which started to form.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move through an environment unfavorable for intensification.  Sarai will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  The upper level ridge will continue to cause strong vertical winds shear.  The wind shear will make it very difficult for new thunderstorms to form.  Tropical Cyclone Sarai is likely to weaken slowly as the circulation in the lower levels spins down.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Sarai toward the east during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move south of the Vava’u Group of Islands during the next 24 hours.  Sarai could reach Niue in less than 30 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai Moves Toward Tonga

Tropical Cyclone Sarai moved toward Tonga on Sunday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Sarai was located at latitude 20.7°S and longitude 178.3°E which put it about 220 miles (355 km) west of Nuku Alofa, Tonga.  Sarai was moving toward the east-southeast at 4 m.p.h. (6 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 985 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai weakened on Sunday.  An upper level ridge north of Sarai produced strong westerly winds which blew toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds caused strong vertical wind shear which disturbed the circulation around Tropical Cyclone Sarai.  The inner core became less well organized and there was no evidence of an eye on satellite images.  The stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the eastern half of the circulation.  Bands in the western half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Sarai was still large.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 200 miles (320 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will continue to move through an environment unfavorable for intensification during the next several days.  Sarai will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  However, the upper level ridge will continue to produce strong westerly winds and vertical wind shear is likely to cause Tropical Cyclone Sarai to weaken further.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high pressure system will steer Sarai toward the east during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move across Tonga in about 24 hours.  Although Sarai will weaken, it will bring winds to tropical storm force and heavy rain to parts of Tonga.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai Moves Across Southern Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Sarai moved across southern parts of Fiji on Saturday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Sarai was located at latitude 19.9°S and longitude 179.1°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) southwest of Matuku, Fiji.  Sarai was moving toward the east at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai strengthened into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon on Saturday as it moved across the southern part of Fiji.  The center of Sarai passed south of Kadavu, but raindbands on the northern side of the circulation brought gusty winds and heavy rain to the island.  A ragged eye appeared intermittently on satellite images.  The eye was surrounded by a broken ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Tropical Cyclone Sarai had a large circulation.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 200 miles (320 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move into an environment that will become increasingly unfavorable for intensification.  Sarai will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  So, there will be enough energy in the upper ocean to support a strong tropical cyclone.  Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move south of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce westerly winds which will get stronger during the next several days.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  When the shear gets stronger, Tropical Cyclone Sarai will start to weaken.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Sarai toward the east during the next 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move across Matuku, Fiji during the next few hours.  Sarai will reach the Lau Group of Fiji Islands during the next 24 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Sarai could reach parts of Tonga within 48 hours.  Sarai will bring gusty winds and heavy rain to all of those places during the next 48 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai Brings Wind and Rain to Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Sarai brought wind and rain to Fiji in Friday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Sarai was located at latitude 19.3°S and longitude 177.0°E which put it about 100 miles (160 km) west-southwest of Kadavu, Fiji.  Sarai was moving toward the southeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 983 mb.

The center of Tropical Cyclone Sarai passed west of Nadi, Fiji on Friday, but rainbands in the eastern side of the circulation produced gusty winds and heavy rain.  A surface weather station in Nadi measured a sustained wind speed of 44 m.p.h. (70 km/h) and wind gusts of 67 m.p.h. (107 km/h).

Tropical Cyclone Sarai continued to intensify on Friday.  The inner end of a rainband wrapped much of the way around the center of circulation.  The rainband had not wrapped entirely around the northwestern part of the center,  A clear area at the center began to appear on satellite images, which could be evidence of formation of an eye.  Storms around the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical cyclone.  The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Sarai was large.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 200 miles (320 km) from the center of Sarai.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move through an environment favorable for intensification for another 24 to 36 hours.  Sarai will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move south of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce westerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear will inhibit intensification, but it will not be strong enough to keep Tropical Cyclone Sarai from strengthening into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Sarai toward the east.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Sarai will pass south of Suva, Fiji.  The core of Sarai will pass near Kadavu, Fiji in about 12 to 18 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Sarai will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Kadavu.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai Forms Northwest of Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Sarai formed northwest of Fiji on Thursday.  At 10:00 a.m. EST on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Sarai was located at latitude 14.9°S and longitude 175.8°E which put it about 220 miles (355 km) north-northwest of Nadi, Fiji.  Sarai was moving toward the south at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

The circulation around a low pressure system northwest of Fiji exhibited greater organization on Thursday and the Fiji Meteorological Service designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Sarai.  The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Sarai was still organizing.  A band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the southern and western sides of the center of circulation.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing and the bands were starting to revolve around the center.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Sarai was large.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 48 hours.  Sarai will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move under the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce northerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  However, there will be northerly winds at most levels of the troposphere, which means that there will not be a lot of vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Sarai will intensify during the next 36 to 48 hours and it could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Sarai toward the south during the next 24 hours.  Tropical Cyclone Sarai will turn more toward the east in a day or so when it rounds the end of the ridge.  On its anticipated track the center of Sarai could approach western Fiji in 24 to 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Kammuri Passes South of Guam

Tropical Storm Kammuri passed south of Guam on Tuesday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Kammuri was located at latitude 11.8°N and longitude 141.8°E which put it about 225 miles (365 km) southwest of Guam.  Kammuri was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 985 mb.  The Tropical Storm Warnings for Guam, Rota, Saipan and Tinian were discontinued.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Kammuri exhibited greater organization on Tuesday.  Rainbands around the center of circulation were more circular.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the north and west of the tropical storm.  There were also more thunderstorms in bands north and west of the center of Kammuri.  Bands southeast of the center consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  The wind field around Tropical Storm Kammuri was also asymmetrical.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out farther in the northern half of the circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 240 miles (340 km) to the northeast of the center of Kammuri.  In contrast, tropical storm force winds only extended out 75 miles (120 km) to the southeast of the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Kammuri will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next few days.  Kammuri will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move under the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge will produce easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear.  The shear will slow the rate of intensification, but it will not be strong enough to prevent Tropical Storm Kammuri from getting stronger.  Kammuri is likely to intensify into a typhoon during the next 24 hours and it could strengthen into the equivalent of a major hurricane later this week.

Tropical Storm Kammuri will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western Pacific Ocean during the next 48 to 72 hours.  The ridge will steer Kammuri toward the northwest.  A second high pressure system will move eastward from Asia in about three days.  The second high will block Tropical Storm Kammuri from moving any farther toward the north and the high will steer Kammuri toward the west during the weekend.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Kammuri will gradually move closer to the Philippines.

Elsewhere, over the South Pacific Ocean near Vanuatu vertical wind shear weakened Tropical Cyclone Rita.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Rita was located at latitude 15.3°S and longitude 169.0°E which put it about 180 miles (290 km) north of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Rita was moving toward the south at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Storm Kammuri Forms, Warnings Issued for Marianas

Tropical Storm Kammuri formed on Monday and warnings were issued for the Marianas.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Kammuri was located at latitude 10.2°N and longitude 149.0°E which put it about 415 miles (665 km) southeast of Guam.  Kammuri was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan.

More thunderstorms formed near the center of a large low pressure system southeast of Guam on Monday and the Japan Meteorological Agency designated the system as Tropical Storm Kammuri.  The circulation around Kammuri was still organizing on Monday night.  Multiple bands of showers and thunderstorms were forming and the bands were starting to revolve around the center of circulation.  Storms near the center began to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm in all directions.

Tropical Storm Kammuri will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next few days.  Kammuri will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Kammuri will continue to intensify and it could strengthen into a typhoon within 36 hours.  Kammuri could eventually intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane.

Tropical Storm Kammuri will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean during the next two days.  The high will steer Kammuri toward the west-northwest.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Kammuri will pass south of Guam in about 18 to 24 hours.  Kammuri could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain.  An upper level trough will approach Tropical Storm Kammuri from the northwest in about 48 hours.  The trough will weaken the upper level ridge and the steering currents will weaken.  Kammuri could meander after the steering currents weaken.

Elsewhere, over the South Pacific Ocean Tropical Cyclone Rita was weakening northeast of Vanuatu.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Rita was located at latitude 14.3°S and longitude 170.0°E which put it about 265 miles (430 km) north-northeast of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Rita was moving toward the south-southwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.