NEWS

Critical Weather Watch Today On TC Winston

All weather eyes are on Tropical Cyclone Winston today to see if it curves back towards Fiji. The commercial NaDraki weather service in its 10am update today said: “With the cyclone now
18 Feb 2016 11:20
Critical Weather Watch Today On TC Winston
Carpenters Fiji foreshore development under construction.

All weather eyes are on Tropical Cyclone Winston today to see if it curves back towards Fiji.

The commercial NaDraki weather service in its 10am update today said:

“With the cyclone now slowing down and preparing to curve back to the west, we now have a pretty good idea of where the westward movement will commence from.

“The official forecast track has the cyclone passing just to the north of Vava’u around midnight tonight. Also TC Winston will likely be a Cat 4 at this time as it moves by, instead of the Cat 2 intensity as it passed by Tuesday night. Therefore impacts on Vava’u will likely befar more significant this time around compared to 2 days before.”

The overwhelming majority of the forecasts now bring the cyclone towards Fiji, and across the Lau group, then passing just south of Viti Levu. This is a relatively new development. The most recent track forecasts issued overnight reflect this. The official forecast from Fiji Meteorological Service (shown) has the cyclone moving west-southwest towards southern Lau, while the forecast from the US Military (shown) brings the cyclone most of the way to Lau, before recurving about 50-60km east of the islands of southern Lau and then heading southeast for Tongatapu.

Additionally, wherever Winston chooses to go in the next few days it looks very likely it will be a Cat 4 system. So beyond tonight once it passes central Tonga there are many possible scenarios that could potentially unfold, with Tongatapu, or Lau and Tongatapu, or just Lau, or Lau and Kadavu and southern Viti Levu all potentially in harm’s way. We will all need to stay alert to the risks outlined above over coming days, and remain prepared for the possibility of TC Winston affecting Fiji once again over the weekend.

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