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Weatherman: Why the Thunderstorms

Weatherman: Why  the Thunderstorms
Fiji Meterological Service director Ravind Kumar
March 10
11:00 2017

The recent aggressive thunderstorms topped with heavy rainfall and flash flooding that swept across most of Fiji on Wednesday night especially, have been explained.

For the past few nights, people in Suva and Nadi had been sleeping in fear of the continuous thunderstorms.

Fiji Meteorological Services director Ravind Kumar said this abrupt hazard was because of a trough of low pressure which was expected to ease by later today.

People have been requested to exercise caution when there is a thunderstorm.

Mr Kumar said people should not take this lightly because lightning and thunder involved high risks.

“The thunderstorms are currently present because we have a trough of low pressure that remains slow moving over Fiji,” Mr Kumar said.

“It is associated with cloud and rain which will affect the country. There will be thunderstorms over most places.”

He added that this was the period in which such weather would be expected.

“Thunderstorms can occur anywhere in Fiji and do so more frequently than any other major natural hazard,” Mr Kumar said.

“Their occurrence can also be at any time of the year, though the chance is low during the country’s cool and dry season.

“Usually, thunderstorms strike from November to April, when energy, especially from the sun, is most abundant. At other times, they are embedded in low pressure troughs and fronts moving across Fiji.

“Almost all thunderstorms develop under atmospheric conditions of low static stability, with abundant heat and moisture at low levels.”

On the FijiMet website at 7:30pm, the guide indicated a trough of low pressure remained slow moving over Fiji.

A Sabeto, Nadi, resident Nazra Bi said she spent two nights awake from 12am as the thunderstorms worsened.

It even led to power outage for a few seconds.

“This was a scary experience as it is something most of us in the community are experiencing for the first time. We pray it does no harm to us,” Ms Bi said.

A flood alert remains in force for downstream of Vatukacevaceva, low lying areas and small streams adjacent to Rakiraki town.

In the days ahead, Mr Kumar warns of more flash flooding because of continuous rain.

He said it would not be like what was seen during TDF04 but the issue of public advisory for flash flooding was to keep people alert.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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