Tropical Cyclone Mona formed north of Fiji on Wednesday. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Mona was located at latitude 11.6°S and longitude 178.1°E which put it about 460 miles (745 km) north of Suva, Fiji. Mona was moving toward the south-southeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 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 1003 mb.
A distinct low level center of circulation formed within an area of thunderstorms north of Fiji and the Fiji Meteorological Service designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Mona. The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Mona was still organizing. There was a small cluster of thunderstorms around the center of circulation. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were forming and those bands were revolving around the center of circulation.
Tropical Cyclone Mona will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next two days. Mona will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C. It will move around the western end of an upper level ridge. The ridge will produce northerly winds which will cause some vertical wind shear. The shear will inhibit strengthening, but it will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. Tropical Cyclone Mona will intensify during the next 36 to 48 hours and it could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.
The upper level ridge will steer Tropical Cyclone Mona toward the south-southeast during the next several days. On its anticipated track Mona could approach Fiji in 36 to 48 hours. Tropical Cyclone Mona could be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon when it nears Fiji.
Elsewhere over the South Pacific Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Penny was reorganizing over the Coral Sea east of Queensland. At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Penny was located at latitude 14.2°S and longitude 152.2°E which put it about 470 miles (760 km) east-northeast of Cairns, Australia. Penny was moving toward the east-southeast at 24 m.p.h. (39 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 987 mb.