Tag Archives: Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Mona Turns Back Toward Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Mona turned back toward Fiji on Saturday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Mona was located at latitude 14.9°S and longitude 179.2°E which put it about 250 miles (400 km) north of Suva, Fiji.  Mona was moving toward the east-southeast 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 1002 mb.

After being strongly sheared and making a slow clockwise loop on Friday, Tropical Cyclone Mona resumed a course toward Fiji on Saturday.  An upper level trough west of Fiji was producing northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of Tropical Cyclone Mona.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and they were also causing the distribution of thunderstorms around Mona to be asymmetrical.  The strongest thunderstorms and winds were occurring in bands southeast of the center of circulation.  Bands in the other parts of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.

Tropical Cyclone Mona will move through an environment marginally favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Mona will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  The upper level trough west of Fiji will continue to cause moderate vertical wind shear which will inhibit development.  Tropical Cyclone Mona could strengthen a little bit on Sunday, but it is likely to remain close to its current intensity.

The upper trough will steer Tropical Cyclone Mona toward the south-southeast during the next 12 hours.  The trough is forecast to cutoff and make a transition to an upper low.  The low will steer Mona more toward the south between 12 and 36 hours into the future.  Tropical Cyclone Mona will turn more toward the southwest on Monday.  On its anticipated track the center of Mona will pass near the northeastern end of Vanua Levu in about 12 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Mona will bring wind and rain to Vanua Levu and the eastern islands of Fiji.  Locally heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Elsewhere, Tropical Cyclone Penny was moving over the Coral Sea back toward Queensland.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Penny was located at latitude 17.2°S and longitude 154.8°E which put it about 605 miles (980 km) east of Cairns.  Penny was moving toward the southwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 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 996 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Mona Stalls North of Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Mona stalled north of Fiji on Friday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Mona was located at latitude 13.3°S and longitude 176.3°E which put it about 365 miles (590 km) north-northwest of Suva, Fiji.  Mona was moving toward the north-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 1000 mb.

Northerly winds blowing around the western end of an upper level ridge over the South Pacific Ocean strengthened on Friday.  Those upper level winds blew across the top of Tropical Cyclone Mona and they caused strong vertical wind shear.  The wind shear blew the upper portion of the circulation south of the circulation in the lower and middle levels of Tropical Cyclone Mona.  As a result, Mona was steered by the winds lower in the atmosphere, which caused it to stall.

New thunderstorms were redeveloping near the center of Tropical Cyclone Mona.  However, many of the bands revolving around the center of Mona still consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  The strong upper level winds were shearing the tops off of many of the thunderstorms that developed.  The upper level winds were also preventing the storms near the center of circulation from generating upper level divergence.

Tropical Cyclone Mona could intensify if the upper level winds weaken.  Mona will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level ridge will continue to produce northerly winds, but those winds are forecast to weaken a little during the weekend.  If the upper level winds weaken and the vertical wind shear lessens, the Tropical Cyclone Mona could strengthen.  However, if the stronger upper level winds persist, then Mona could weaken further.

Tropical Cyclone Mona will meander north of Fiji as long as the wind shear prevents the development of a core of taller thunderstorms.  If Mona strengthens as forecast, then the upper level ridge will steer the tropical cyclone toward the south.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Mona could approach Fiji in about 48 hours.  Some guidance is suggesting the Mona could be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon at that time.

Elsewhere over the South Pacific Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Penny was meandering over the Coral Sea.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Friday the center of Tropical Cyclone Penny was located at latitude 15.9°S and longitude 155.8°E which put it about 670 miles (1080 km) east of Cairns,, Australia.  Penny was moving toward the north at 2 m.p.h. (3 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 993 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Mona Forms North of Fiji

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.

Tropical Cyclone Keni Brings Winds and Rain to Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Keni brought wind and rain to Fiji on Monday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Keni was located at latitude 19.4°S and longitude 178.0°E which put it about 100 miles (160 km) west-southwest of Suva, Fiji.  Keni was moving toward the east-southeast at 21 m.p.h. (34 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 976 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Keni intensified rapidly on Monday into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.  A primary rainband wrapped tightly around the center of circulation and a small eye formed at the center.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Cyclone Keni.  The strongest bands were east and south of the center of circulation.  Storms in the core of Keni were generating upper level divergence which was pumping away mass to the east of the tropical cyclone.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extended out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 155 miles (250 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Keni will remain in an environment favorable for intensification for about another 12 to 18 hours.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Keni is moving under the southwestern portion of an upper level ridge which is producing northwesterly winds which blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification during the next few hours.  Tropical Cyclone Keni will move under strong upper level winds in about 12 to 18 hours and then the wind shear will increase.  Increased wind shear will cause Keni to start to weaken.

The ridge is steering Tropical Cyclone Keni toward the east-southeast and that general motion is expected to continue for another 12 to 18 hours.  An upper level trough approaching from the west will steer Keni more toward the southeast after that time.  On its anticipated track the core and strongest part of Tropical Cyclone Keni will pass southwest of Fiji.  However, clockwise flow around Keni will continue to cause gusty winds and drop heavy rain on Fiji.  The heavy rain could cause flash floods.  Keni could bring wind and rain to Tonga in 18 to 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Keni Forms East of Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Keni formed east of Vanuatu on Sunday.  At 11:00 p.m EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Keni was located at latitude 16.9°S and longitude 172.0°E which put it about 215 miles (350 km) east of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Keni was moving toward the east-southeast at 7 m.p.h. (11 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 994 mb.

A distinct center of circulation consolidated in an area of showers and thunderstorms between Vanuatu and Fiji on Sunday and the Fiji Meteorological Service designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Keni.   The circulation of Tropical Cyclone Keni organized quickly.  Several bands of thunderstorms wrapped part of the way around the center of circulation.  Other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Keni will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Keni will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It is under a small upper level ridge and the upper level winds are weak.  So, there will be little vertical wind shear on Monday.  Tropical Cyclone Keni will intensify during the next 24 hours and it could become the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon.

Tropical Cyclone Keni on the southwestern edge of a subtropical ridge which is steering Keni toward the east-southeast.  A general motion toward the east-southeast is expected to continue for another 24 to 36 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Keni could be approaching Fiji within 24 hours.  Keni could be the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon when it near Fiji.  Keni will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to parts of Fiji.  The heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Tropical Cyclone Iris Redevelops East of Queensland.

Tropical Cyclone Iris redeveloped east of Queensland on Sunday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Cyclone Iris was located at latitude 16.9°S and longitude 148.7°E which put it about 190 miles (310 km) east of Cairns, Australia.  Iris was moving toward the southwest 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 995 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Iris formed over the Coral Sea last week but wind strong vertical shear quickly weakened Iris into an area of low pressure.  The low pressure system meandered over the Coral Sea east of Australia during the past few days.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation on Sunday and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Iris again.

The circulation around Tropical Cyclone Iris was still reorganizing on Sunday night.  A distinct low level center of circulation was evident on visible satellite images.  More thunderstorms were developing near the center.  A primary rainband wrapped around the northern, eastern and southern sides of the center of circulation.  Bands northwest of the center consisted mainly of showers and low clouds.  Storms near the core of the circulation generated upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the east of the tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Iris will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification on Monday.  Iris will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is 29°C.  It is moving around the western end of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing northwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear and they may have been the reason for the lack of strong rainbands northwest of the center of circulation.  The wind shear is likely to inhibit intensification, but it probably won’t prevent Tropical Cyclone Iris from intensifying on Monday.

Tropical Cyclone Iris was moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which was steering Iris toward the southwest.  Iris will likely move more toward the south and then southeast as it rounds the western end of the ridge.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Iris is expected to remain east of Queensland.

Elsewhere over the South Pacific Ocean Tropical Cyclone Josie was swirling south of Fiji.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Josie was located at latitude 21.1°S and longitude 178.1°E which put it about 185 miles (300 km) south of Suva, Fiji.  Josie was moving toward the south-southeast at 14 m.p.h. (22 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 999 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Josie Brings Wind and Rain to Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Josie brought wind and rain to Fiji on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Cyclone Josie was located at latitude 19.2°S and longitude 177.4°E which put it about 105 miles (170 km) southwest of Suva, Fiji.  Josie was moving toward the east-southeast at 14 m.p.h. (22 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 998 mb.

Tropical Cyclone Josie formed within an area of thunderstorms that had persisted west of Fiji for several days.  A center of circulation developed within the area of thunderstorms and the Fiji Meteorological Service designated the system as Tropical Cyclone Josie.  The circulation of Tropical Cyclone Josie was somewhat asymmetrical.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in the eastern half of the circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in a primary rainband east of the center of circulation,  The bands in the western half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 160 miles (260 km) east of the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Josie will move through an area somewhat favorable for intensification during the next day or two.  Josie will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move near an area where westerly winds are blowing in the upper levels and those winds may already be responsible for the asymmetrical distribution of stronger storms.  The upper level winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear, but the shear may not be strong enough to prevent some intensification.  Tropical Cyclone Josie could intensify slowly during the next 24 to 48 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Josie is moving near the eastern end of a ridge which is steering Josie toward the east-southeast.  The westerly winds in the middle troposphere will continue to steer Tropical Cyclone Josie toward the southeast during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the center of Josie will pass south of Viti Levu.  The center of Tropical Cyclone Josie will move near Kadavu and Ono in about 12 hours.  Even though the center of circulation will pass south of Viti Levu, Tropical Cyclone Josie will drop heavy rain there and the potential for flash floods will exist.  Josie will also bring gusty winds and heavy rain to Kadavu and Ono.

Tropical Cyclone Hola Develops Over Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Hola developed over Vanuatu on Tuesday.  At 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Hola was located at latitude 16.2°S and longitude 168.1°E which put it near Ambrym and about 110 miles (180 km) north of Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Hola was moving toward the west-southwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 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 992 mb.

A large area of showers and thunderstorms northwest of Fiji moved slowly westward toward Vanuatu during the past few days.  The system was designated Tropical Cyclone Hola when a center of circulation developed in the area of storms on Tuesday.  Thunderstorms formed on all sides of the center, but there were more thunderstorms on the western side of the center.  Bands of showers and storms were beginning to revolve around the core of the circulation.  The storms near the center were starting to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Hola will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next two or three days.  Hola will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds over that area are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Cyclone Hola should intensify during the next 48 to 72 hours.  Rapid intensification could occur once the core of the circulation is fully organized.  Hola could strengthen into the equivalent of a hurricane/typhoon during the next 24 hours.  Hola could become the equivalent of a major hurricane within three days.

Tropical Cyclone Hola is moving near the northwestern end of a subtropical ridge which is steering Hola toward the west-southwest.  A slow motion toward the southwest is forecast during the next day or so while Hola rounds the northwestern end of the ridge.  Tropical Cyclone Hola will turn more toward the southeast after it rounds the subtropical ridge.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Hola will move near Ambrym, Malekula, Paama, Lopevi, and Epi.  Hola is forecast to pass west of Port Vila, but it could be near New Caledonia and the Iles Loyaute in two or three days.

Tropical Cyclone Hola will strengthen as it moves slowly toward the southwest during the next 24 hours.  The stronger tropical cyclone will produce gusty winds and it will drop heavy rain over the central parts of Vanuatu.  Heavy rain will fall over Espiritu Santo, Maewo, Ambae, Pentecost, Malo, Ambrym, Paama, Lopevi, Tongoa, Epi, Emae, the Shepherd Islands, Nguna, Emao, and Efate.  Locally heavy rain could create the potential for floods in some of those locations.

Strong Tropical Cyclone Gita Moves Toward New Caledonia

Strong Tropical Cyclone Gita moved toward New Caledonia on Wednesday.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Gita was located at latitude 21.6°S and longitude 173.7°E which put it about 510 miles (825 km) east of Noumea, New Caledonia.  Gita was moving toward the west at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 949 mb.  Tropical Cyclone Gita was the equivalent of a major hurricane.

The structure of Tropical Cyclone Gita is similar to that of an annular hurricane.  There is a large eye at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring.  The circulation is symmetrical and several rainbands are revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms in the core are generating strong upper level divergence which is pumping mass away from the tropical cyclone.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 165 miles (270 km) from the center.

Tropical Cyclone Gita will be moving through an environment that is favorable for strong tropical cyclone for several more days.  Gita will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Tropical Cyclone Gita is moving under the western end of an upper level ridge and the upper level winds are weak.  There is little vertical wind shear.  Tropical cyclones with a symmetrical annular structure often are able to maintain their intensity and Tropical Cyclone Gita could stay strong or weaken very slowly during the next 24 hours.  Gita will get close to the western end of the upper level ridge in a day or so and stronger upper level winds could cause more vertical wind shear at that time.

The ridge is steering Tropical Cyclone Gita toward the west.  Gita is likely to move more toward the southwest when it approaches the western end of the ridge.  It is likely to reach the western end of the ridge in about 48 hours, and Gita will turn more toward the south at that time.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Gita is expected to pass south of Vanuatu.  Gita could approach the Iles Loyaute and New Caledonia in about 36 hours.

Powerful Tropical Cyclone Gita Hits Tonga, Threatens Southern Fiji

Powerful Tropical Cyclone Gita hit the most populated islands in Tonga on Monday and moved west to threaten the southernmost islands of Fiji.  Gita brought strong winds and very heavy rain to Tongapatu and Eau on Monday and there were reports of damage from Tonga.  At 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday the center of Tropical Cyclone Gita was located at latitude 21.1°S and longitude 178.9°W which put it about 300 miles (480 km) southeast of Suva, Fiji.  Gita was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (220 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (270 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 935 mb.  Tropical Cyclone Gita was the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Gita remains a powerful tropical cyclone.  There is a circular eye at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring.  A rainband has wrapped most of the way around the core of Tropical Cyclone Gita and there are indications that a second, concentric eyewall is forming.  Other rainbands are revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms in the core are producing strong upper level divergence which is pumping away mass and is allowing the tropical cyclone to remain very strong.  Winds to hurricane/typhoon force extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 200 miles (320 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Tropical Cyclone Gita is 28.3.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 20.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 48.8.  Those indices indicate that Tropical Cyclone Gita is capable of causing significant damage.

Tropical Cyclone Gita will remain in an environment favorable for strong tropical cyclones for another 24 to 36 hours.  Gita will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds are weak and there is not much vertical wind shear.  If a second concentric eyewall forms, then an eyewall replacement cycle could produce a fluctuation in intensity.  Gita could weaken when the inner eyewall dissipates.  The circulation could strengthen again if the outer eyewall remains intact and starts to contract around the center of circulation.

Tropical Cyclone Gita is moving north of a subtropical ridge which is steering the tropical cyclone toward the west.  A general motion toward the west is expected to continue for another 48 to 72 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Cyclone Gita could move over the southernmost islands of Fiji on Tuesday.  The strongest part of Gita could affect Vatoa, Ono-i-lau, Tuvana-i-colo and Tuvana-i-ra.  Gita could bring destructive winds, locally heavy rain and storm surges to the southernmost parts of Fiji.  Tropical Cyclone Gita could approach southern Vanuatu and New Caledonia in about three days.