Pacific basin heats up

The tropics are heating up across the Pacific basin with three areas of concern being monitored. One of these areas could yield the year’s first typhoon in the western Pacific.
28 Feb 2014 10:53

The tropics are heating up across the Pacific basin with three areas of concern being monitored. One of these areas could yield the year’s first typhoon in the western Pacific.
Most of the Pacific has been void of organised tropical systems so far this month, but that will change as February gives way to March.
Tropical development is imminent southeast of Guam, while a tropical cyclone expected to take shape near Fiji. This weekend through early next week, yet another tropical cyclone may form south of the Solomon Islands.

Potential for year’s first
typhoon to threaten Guam
A tropical low spinning southeast of Guam has already been deemed a tropical depression by the Japan Meteorological Agency, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre–the official source for–is expected to soon follow suite. meteorologists anticipate the low to crawl westward or west-northwestward through Saturday before targeting Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands early next week.
After officially becoming a tropical depression, all the ingredients are in place for the low to continue strengthening into a tropical storm. It is not out of the question that the low becomes a minimal typhoon, the first of 2014 for the western Pacific and with strength equal to that of a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic Basin.
Initially, a few drenching showers and thunderstorms will occasionally stream across Guam and the southern half of the Northern Mariana Islands through Saturday. The islands would then be subject to more widespread heavy rain early next week.
“Guam will receive 125-250 mm (5-10 inches) of rain through early next week with the potential for more,” stated Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak.
That amount of rain is sure to trigger flash flooding and mudslides in the higher elevations.
“The danger of coastal flooding along the eastern beaches will also increase through the weekend ahead of the low’s arrival as persistent northeasterly winds howl and drive the ocean’s water onshore,” Wanenchak continued.
The severity of the damaging winds across the islands early next week will depend on the exact peak strength of the low.
Anyone with interests in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands should continue to monitor the progress of this strengthening tropical low.

Tropical threat near Fiji
The Hurricane Centre is also keeping a close eye on another tropical low spinning immediately to the east of Fiji.
A tropical cyclone with its strength equal to that of a tropical storm is expected to take shape gradually as the low spins near Fiji then crawls southeastward later.
Due to the nature of the low, eastern parts of Fiji will be most at risk for experiencing flooding downpours.
The threat of flooding rain and damaging winds will then shift to Tonga this weekend as the low tracks southeastward.

Solomon Islands worry
This weekend is also when another tropical cyclone may begin forming south of the Solomon Islands.
Latest indications point toward this future tropical cyclone dropping southward through the Coral Sea next week and possibly becoming stronger than the low currently near Fiji.

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