Tropical Cyclone Nat moved toward Tahiti on Tuesday. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone Nat was located at latitude 17.6°S and longitude 155.4°W which put it about 415 miles (670 km) west of Pappete, Tahiti. Nat was moving toward the east-southeast at 20 m.p.h. (32 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 Nat strengthened a little as it moved over the South Pacific Ocean toward Tahiti on Tuesday. Thunderstorms continued to form near the center of Nat’s circulation. Storms near the center of circulation generated upper level divergence that pumped mass away to the east of the tropical cyclone. Thunderstorms were also occurring in bands in the northern and eastern parts of Tropical Cyclone Nat. Bands in the western and southern part of Nat’s circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Winds to tropical storm force extend out 120 miles (195 km) in the northwest, northeast and southeast quadrants of Tropical Cyclone Nat. Winds to tropical storm force only extended out 40 miles (65 km) in the southwest quadrant of Nat.
Tropical Cyclone Nat will move through an environment unfavorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Nat will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29°C. It will move under the eastern side of an upper level trough over the South Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand. The upper level trough will produce strong northwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of Nat’s circulation. Those winds will cause strong vertical wind shear. The strong vertical wind shear is likely to cause Tropical Cyclone Nat to start to weaken during the next 24 hours.
The upper level trough northeast of New Zealand will steer Tropical Cyclone Nat toward the east-southeast during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track, the center of Tropical Cyclone Nat will pass south of Bora Bora during the next 24 hours. Nat could be near Tahiti within 36 hours. Bands in the northern side of Nat could bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the Society Islands. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.
Elsewhere over the South Pacific Ocean, Tropical Cyclone 11P formed north of American Samoa. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday the center of Tropical Cyclone 11P was located at latitude 13.3°S and longitude 168.9°W which put it about 110 miles (195 km) north of Pago Pago, American Samoa. The tropical cyclone was moving toward the southeast at 21 m.p.h. (33 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in parts of American Samoa.