Tropical Cyclone Pola organized quickly between Fiji and Tonga on Tuesday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Pola was located at latitude 18.8°S and longitude 176.7°W which put it about 185 miles (295 km) north-northwest of Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Pola was moving toward the south at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 55 m.p.h. (90 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 988 mb.
A well organized low level center of circulation consolidated within a much larger area of showers and thunderstorms north of Tonga on Tuesday and the Fiji Meteorological Service classified the system as Tropical Cyclone Pola. A small circular eye was beginning to appear at the center of circulation on some satellite images. The eye was surrounded by a narrow ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms near the center of Pola were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Pola. Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 175 miles (280 km) from the center of circulation.
Tropical Cyclone Pola will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours. Pola 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 Cyclone Pola will intensify during the next day or so and it could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon. Pola will move over colder water and into a region where the upper level winds are stronger later this week and it will start to weaken at that time.
Tropical Cyclone Pola will move around the northwestern portion of a subtropical ridge over the South Pacific Ocean. The ridge will steer Pola in a southward direction. On its anticipated track the core and strongest part of Tropical Cyclone Pola will pass west of Tonga. The outer rainbands on the western side of the circulation could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to parts of southeastern Fiji. Rainbands on the eastern side of the circulation could also bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to parts of Tonga.
Elsewhere, Typhoon Wutip was weakening west of the Marianas. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Typhoon Wutip was located at latitude 15.7°N and longitude 139.9°E which put it about 345 miles (560 km) west-northwest of Guam. Wutip was moving toward the north at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (215 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 972 mb.