Tropical Cyclone Gina moved over Vanuatu on Thursday. At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Cyclone Gina was located at latitude 17.4°S and longitude 168.4°E which put it about 35 miles (55 km) north-northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu. Gina was moving toward the south-southwest at 5 m.p.h (8 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.
The center of Tropical Cyclone Gina moved over southern Vanuatu on Thursday. The distribution of thunderstorms around Gina’s circulation continued to be asymmetrical. The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the southeastern part of Tropical Cyclone Gina. Heavy rain fell on Efate. Bands in the other parts of Gina’s circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. An upper level trough over the Coral Sea continued to produce northwesterly winds that were blowing toward the top of Tropical Cyclone Gina. Those winds were still causing moderate vertical wind shear and the wind shear was contributing to the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 50 miles (80 km) from the center of Gina’s circulation.
Tropical Cyclone Gina will move through an environment that is only marginally favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours. Gina will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 27˚C. However, the upper level trough over the Coral Sea will continue to produce northwesterly winds that will cause moderate vertical wind shear. The wind shear will strongly inhibit intensification. Tropical Cyclone Gina could maintain its intensity during the next 36 hours, if the upper level winds do not get stronger. If the wind shear increases, then Gina could weaken.
Tropical Cyclone Gina will move around the northwestern part of a high pressure system over the South Pacific Ocean during the next 26 hours. The high pressure system will steer Gina toward the southwest. On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Gina will move southwest of Vanuatu during the next 36 hours. Gina could be northeast of New Caledonia during the weekend. Heavy rain could continue to fall over Efate during the next 12 to 18 hours. Rain should end on Friday when Tropical Cyclone Gina moves away from Vanuatu.