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Powerful Tropical Cyclone Harold Brings Wind and Rain to Fiji

Powerful Tropical Cyclone Harold brought strong wind and heavy rain to parts of Fiji on Tuesday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Harold was located at latitude 19.4°S and longitude 178.7°E which put it about 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Tavuki, Fiji.  Harold was moving toward the east-southeast at 22 m.p.h (35 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (225 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (270 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 930 mb.

The eye of Tropical Cyclone Harold passed directly over Kadavu Island, Fiji on Tuesday night.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Harold was 28.3.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 19.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 48.0.  Tropical Cyclone Harold probably caused significant damage to Kadavu.  Harold also brought gusty winds and heavy rain to Viti Levu.  Flash floods were likely to have occurred in areas that received heavy rain.

Tropical Cyclone Harold strengthened on Tuesday after it moved away from Vanuatu where it caused significant damage.  The eye became evident on satellite imagery again and a solid ring of thunderstorms formed a strong eyewall.  The strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Storms around the core of Harold generated strong upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical cyclone.  The size of the circulation around Tropical Cyclone Harold continued to increase in size.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 65 miles (105 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 250 miles (400 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Harold will move into an area less favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Harold will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move under the southwestern part 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 increase in speed during the next 48 hours and the increased vertical wind shear will cause Tropical Cyclone Harold to weaken.  Harold could weaken slowly during the next 12 to 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Harold will move around the southwestern part of a high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Harold quickly toward the east-southeast.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Harold could reach Tonga within 12 to 18 hours.  Harold will be the equivalent of a major hurricane when it reaches Tonga.

Tropical Cyclone Harold Approaches Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Harold approached Fiji on Tuesday morning.  At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Harold was located at latitude 17.4°S and longitude 173.4°E which put it about 270 miles (435 km) west of Nadi, Fiji.  Harold was moving toward the east-southeast at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 943 mb.

Although the maximum sustained wind speed in Tropical Cyclone Harold decreased, the area of stronger winds increased.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 70 miles (110 km) from the center of Harold.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 200 miles (320 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Harold was 23.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 22.1 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 45.7.  Tropical Cyclone Harold was capable of causing major damage.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Harold increased in size on Tuesday.  The previous small eye was no longer visible on satellite imagery, but the most recent images suggested that a larger eye could be developing that the center of circulation.  The newly forming eye was surround by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the center of Harold.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Harold will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 12 to 24 hours.  Harold will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move under the southwestern part 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 some vertical wind shear, but they will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Harold could strengthen during the next 12 to 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Harold will move around the southwestern part of a high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Harold toward the east-southeast during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Harold could reach Fiji within 12 hours.  Harold will be capable of causing major wind damage.  It will drop heavy rain and flash floods are likely.  Tropical Cyclone Harold could reach Tonga within 36 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Harold Strengthens to Equivalent of Cat. 5 Hurricane

Tropical Cyclone Harold strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on Monday.  After weakening while the eye crossed the southern end of Espiritu Santo, the core of Harold rapidly intensified and the tropical cyclone became even more powerful.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Harold was located at latitude 16.2°S and longitude 169.4°E which put it about 120 miles (195 km) north-northeast of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Harold was moving toward the east-southeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 165 m.p.h.  and there were wind gusts to 200 m.p.h. (320 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 912 mb.

The inner core of Tropical Cyclone Harold weakened when the eye moved across the southern end of Espiritu Santo.  For a time the eye was less distinct of satellite images.  However, the eye cleared out quickly after it moved back over water and the core of Harold strengthened further.  By Monday a small, well formed eye was evident infrared satellite images.  The eye had a diameter of 12 miles (19 km).  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Harold.  Storms near the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out 40 miles (65 km) from the center of Tropical Cyclone Harold.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 190 miles (305 km) from the center of circulation.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Harold was 36.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 16.0 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 52.8.  Harold was capable of causing catastrophic damage.

The core of Tropical Cyclone Harold passed over the southern end of Espiritu Santo.  It then passed near the northern end of Malekula before battering Pentecost and Ambrym.  Harold likely caused catastrophic wind damage in those locations.  Tropical Cyclone Harold also dropped locally heavy rain over Espiritu Santo, Malekula, Pentecost, Maewo, and Ambrym.  Flash flooding probably occurred on those islands.

Tropical Cyclone Harold will move through an environment capable of support an intense tropical cyclone during the next several days.  Harold will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move under the southwestern part 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 some vertical wind shear.  If a rainband wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause Tropical Cyclone Harold to weaken.  Tropical cyclones generally do not maintain Category 5 intensity for an extended period of time.  So, Tropical Cyclone Harold is likely to start to weaken within 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Harold will move around the southwestern part of a high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Harold toward the east-southeast during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Harold will move away from Vanuatu.  Harold could approach Fiji within 36 hours and it could still be the equivalent of a major hurricane at that time.

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.

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 Cyclone Rita Develops North of Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Rita developed over the South Pacific Ocean north of Vanuatu on Sunday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Rita was located at latitude 11.5°S and longitude 169.4°E which put it about 455 miles (730 km) north of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Rita was moving toward the south-southeast at 6 m.p.h. (10 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 987 mb.

A center of circulation in an area of low pressure north of Vanuatu exhibited greater organization on Sunday and the system was designated Tropical Cyclone Rita.  Rita had a distinct low level center of circulation.  A band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the western and northern sides of the center.  Other rainbands were revolving around the center of circulation.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 120 miles (195 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Rita will move through an environment relatively favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Rita 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 over the South Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will produce northerly winds which will blow toward the top of the tropical cyclone.  Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The wind shear will inhibit intensification, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent Tropical Cyclone Rita from getting stronger.  Rita could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon during the next 24 hours.

The ridge over the South Pacific Ocean will steer Tropical Cyclone Rita toward the south during several days.  On its anticipated track the center to Rita could approach Vanuatu in 48 to 72 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Pola Strengthens to Equivalent of Hurricane/Typhoon

Tropical Cyclone Pola strengthened to the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon on Wednesday.  At 4:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Pola was located at latitude 20.2°S and longitude 177.6°W which put it about 170 miles (275 km) west-northwest of Nuku’alofa, Tonga.  Pola was moving toward the south-southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 969 mb.

There was a small, circular eye at the center of Tropical Cyclone Pola.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Storms near the core 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.  The strongest rainbands were occurring in the northwestern half of the circulation.  Bands in the southeastern half of Pola consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 160 miles (260 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Pola will move through an environment favorable for support a strong tropical cyclone for another day or so.  Pola will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will not be much vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Pola could strengthen during the next 24 hours.  Pola will stat to move over cooler water on Thursday.  An upper level trough will approach Tropical Cyclone Pola from the west.  The trough will produce northwesterly winds which will increase the vertical wind shear.  A combination of cooler water and more vertical wind shear will cause Pola to weaken.  Tropical Cyclone Pola could make a transition to an extratropical cyclone later this week.

Tropical Cyclone Pola will move around the western end of a subtropical ridge over the South Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Pola toward the south-southwest during the next day or two.  Eventually, the upper level trough will turn Tropical Cyclone Pola toward the southeast.  On its anticipated track the core of Pola and the strongest winds will pass west of Tonga.  Rainbands on the eastern side of the circulation could bring gusty winds and heavy rain at times to parts of Tonga.

Elsewhere, Typhoo Wutip continued to weaken west-northwest of the Marianas.  At 4:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Typhoon Wutip was located at latitude 16.3°N and longitude 139.4°E which put it about 370 miles (595 km) west-northwest of Guam.  Wutip was moving toward the north-northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 981 mb.