NEWS

TD04F Developed Into Category 1 Tropical Cyclone Mona

Tropical Depression, TD04F intensified further and developed into a category 1 (CAT 1) tropical cyclone at 10am this morning. It has been named Tropical Cyclone Mona (TC Mona). Tropical Cyclone
03 Jan 2019 15:49
TD04F Developed Into Category 1 Tropical Cyclone Mona
Figure 4: Tropical Cyclone Mona (CAT 1), Threat Map at 12:10pm today, 3rd January, 2019

Tropical Depression, TD04F intensified further and developed into a category 1 (CAT 1) tropical cyclone at 10am this morning. It has been named Tropical Cyclone Mona (TC Mona).

Tropical Cyclone Mona was located near 11.4 degrees’ south latitude and 177.3 degrees’ east longitude or about 130 km north-northeast of Rotuma or about 710 km north of Nadi at 10am today. TC Mona is currently moving south towards the Group at about 20 km/hr.

TC Mona is expected to have average winds of 65 km/hr with momentary gusts to 90km/hr. It is intensifying and moving towards Fiji and likely to pass over Vanua Levu at 10am on Sunday. TC Mona may further intensify into a category 2 tropical cyclone in the next 24 to 36 hours as it approaches Fiji.

On the projected track, the system may bring damaging gale force winds over Rotuma in the next 6 to 9 hours and over Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti Group in the next 42 to 48 hours.

On this track, the system is expected to be located about 20 km southeast of Rotuma or about 490 km north-northwest of Labasa at 10pm today and about 100 km southwest of Rotuma and about 490 km northwest of Labasa at 10am tomorrow.

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For Rotuma: expect damaging gale force with average speed up to 65 km/hr and momentary gusts to 90 km/hr from later today. Expect periods of rain, heavy at times and few squally thunderstorms. For Rotuma Waters: Mariners can expect gale force winds within 120 nautical miles of centre with high seas.

For Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti group: expect fresh to strong southeast winds with speeds of 45 to 55 km/hr and gusts up to 70 km/hr. Winds possibly increasing to damaging gale force with average speed up to 65 km/hr and momentary gusts to 90 km/hr from Saturday afternoon. Expect periods of rain, heavy at times and few squally thunderstorms.

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For Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti group and northern and eastern Viti Levu: expect fresh to strong southeast winds with speeds of 45 to 55 km/hr and gusts up to 70 km/hr. Expect occasional rain, heavy at times and few thunderstorms over the eastern half of Viti Levu, Lau and Lomaiviti Group. Rain becoming frequent today. Elsewhere, expect cloudy periods with some showers.

Meanwhile, an active trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain lies slow moving just north of Vanua Levu and affects the northern part of the Group.

The following alerts and warnings are currently in force:

1. “Gale Warning” is now in force for Rotuma;

2. A “Tropical Cyclone Alert” remains in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti Group;

3. A “Strong Wind Warning” remains in force for all land areas of Vanua Levu, Taveuni and smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti Group, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Yasawa Group and Northern Viti Levu from Rakiraki to Tailevu North.;

4. A “Strong Wind Warning” remains in force for all Fiji Waters;

5. A “Heavy Rain Warning” remains in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, eastern half of Viti Levu, Lau and Lomaiviti Group;

6. A “Flood Warning” remains in force for all low lying areas, small streams and areas adjacent to major rivers of Vanua Levu.

Screenshot 2019-01-03 at 3.41.25 PM

For Fiji Waters, mariners can expect southeast winds 20 to 30 knots, gusting to 45 knots with rough to very rough seas and moderate southerly swells. Poor visibility in areas of rain and thunderstorms. Winds may further increase to 35 to 40 knots with high seas over Vanua Levu Waters and Yasawa Waters from Saturday afternoon.

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Periods of heavy rain and squally thunderstorms is expected and as TC Mona approaches rain will become frequent across the Group. With rivers being at medium to high flows, soil already saturated and more rain predicted, the chances of flooding of low lying and flood prone areas is high.

Sea flooding of low-lying coastal areas and damaging heavy swells is also anticipated. The Northern, and Eastern coastlines are at high risk of inundation by combined effect of wind stress, heavy swells, storm surge and high tide.

The effects of wind can cause damages to well-built framed homes which can blow away roofs, trees uprooted and branches being broken, severely damage weak structures, totally destroy shallow rooted crops, cause loose objects to fly, damage electricity lines and poles, damage water infrastructure, etc.

All communities living in low coastal, flood prone and low lying areas are reminded to take all necessary precautions, similarly for those living in landslide prone and low lying coastal areas to remain vigilant. Members of the public are advised to remain updated with the latest weather information and take alerts and warnings seriously.

For more details and the latest on weather, please contact the National Weather Forecasting Centre on 6736006, 9905376 or visit the Fiji Meteorological Service website, www.met.gov.fj. You can also visit the Fiji Meteorological Service official Facebook page for latest updates.

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