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 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 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.