Tropical Cyclone Ella weakened on Saturday as passed north of Fiji. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Ella was located at latitude 12.9°S and longitude 178.9°E which put it about 365 miles (585 km) north-northeast of Nadi, Fiji. Ella was moving toward the west at 5 m.p.h. (8 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 1001 mb.
Tropical Cyclone Ella moved underneath an area of stronger upper level westerly winds on Saturday. Stronger vertical wind shear pushed the upper part of the circulation east of the lower level circulation. The center of the lower level circulation was completely exposed by late Saturday. It consisted of a tight swirl of low clouds and showers. Some thunderstorms were occurring in bands east of the low level center.
The small size of Tropical Cyclone Ella made it very vulnerable to increased vertical wind shear. Tropical Cyclone Ella is forecast to continue to move under the upper level westerly winds. Shear is likely to weaken Ella further even though it will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.
A subtropical ridge south of Ella is steering the tropical cyclone toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue. Tropical Cyclone Ella is forecast to move through Tuvalu, but it will pass north of Fiji.