NEWS

TC Sarai May Generate Into A Strong Category 2 Passing West of Nadi This Evening

Further intensification is expected and it is likely that TC Sarai will be a strong Category 2 system as it passes west of Nadi this evening. Forecasts continue to predict that the cyclone is going to slow its forward motion as winds around the centre are increasing.
27 Dec 2019 11:57
TC Sarai May Generate Into A Strong Category 2 Passing West of Nadi This Evening

A GALE WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR VANUA LEVU, TAVEUNI AND NEARBY SMALLER ISLANDS, YASAWA AND MAMANUCA GROUP, KADAVU, LOMAIVITI GROUP, VITI LEVU AND NEARBY SMALLER ISLANDS.
A STRONG WIND WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR THE LAU GROUP AND ROTUMA.
A HEAVY RAIN WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR THE FIJI GROUP

http://www.met.gov.fj/index.php?page=warn1#20020.txt

The development of the cloud structure of TC Sarai continued overnight after slowing for a while yesterday afternoon.

Further intensification is expected and it is likely that TC Sarai will be a strong Category 2 system as it passes west of Nadi this evening. Forecasts continue to predict that the cyclone is going to slow its forward motion as winds around the centre are increasing.

This remains very significant as it means that the heavy rain near the centre affecting the western division Friday night and Saturday will last for longer than usual, and if the rain lasts longer than risk of flooding increases also.

Widespread flash flooding will occur about much of Viti Levu and Vanua today Levu. With the cyclone slowing, the rain will persist over Fiji today and tonight and much of tomorrow. Flooding will affect roads and may cause significant landslides.

It also means the damaging gales and storm force winds forecast for western and southern Viti Levu, Vatulele, Beqa, Kadavu, and southern and central Lau will affect land areas for longer than normal periods of time.

This will affect structures (e.g. high voltage power lines, mobile phone towers etc), buildings and crops, and also increase the risk of storm surge sea flooding of coastal areas, particularly around the Yasawas, Mamanucas and western Viti Levu, as well as the offshore islands of Kadavu, Vatulele, Beqa and southern Lau.

Winds will strengthen slowly this morning, then quickly during the afternoon and evening.

Damaging gale to storm force winds will have sustained speeds of 35-45 knots (65-85 kph) initially increasing 45-55 knots (85-105 kph) by evening over western Viti Levu with momentary gusts to 85 knots (160 kph).

It is expected that the closest pass to Fiji will occur just after dark tonight as the centre passes west of Viti Levu, before turning east-southeast sharply during the early hours of tomorrow morning taking the centre of the cyclone east-southeast towards Kadavu and southern Lau. Landfall over the western division is now considered to be very unlikely, although it can’t be ruled out completely at this time.

People in the western division should make preparations now for a near approach by a strong category two tropical cyclone tonight. People along the Coral Coast, of Viti Levu, Vatulele should prepare for damaging gales and heavy rain early tomorrow morning.

Kadavu and southern Lau can expect a strong category 2 or possibly a severe category three tropical cyclone to pass close by tomorrow after sunrise.

For the remainder of Fiji, periods of rain heavy at times with local flash flooding strong squally northeast winds today gusting to 65 kph at times. Heavy swells and rough seas on coastal waters.

 

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