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Na Draki Weather Update

Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Yasa continues to execute a clockwise loop over waters well to the west-northwest of Fiji this morning, and at 6am the centre of the cyclone was
15 Dec 2020 14:53
Na Draki Weather Update

Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Yasa continues to execute a clockwise loop over waters well to the west-northwest of Fiji this morning, and at 6am the centre of the cyclone was estimated to be around 640 km west-northwest of Nadi and was moving west at about 2 kph.

The cyclone continues to intensify, and satellite imagery this morning reveals signs of an eye, confirming that the cyclone has attained severe Category 3 intensity.

 

We wait expectantly to see which path the cyclone takes after it completes this loop.

This morning the computer models continue to offer up a variety of solutions all of which are not positive for Fiji, The most recent forecast from the US National Weather Service has the centre passing close to or over the southern Mamanucas around noon Friday on a southwesterly path which would then move the centre of the cyclone close to the western end of Kadavu.

On the other hand, the latest Fiji Meteorological Service forecast has the centre moving over the Yasawa islands between midnight and 2am on Fiday then across Bligh Waters before making landfall on the northern tip of Viti Levu around 6am then moving into the Koro Sea toward Lomaiviti after sunrise on Friday.

Yet a different solution from the US navy forecast is predicting landfall over Viti Levu close to Nadi around 6am on Friday morning.

In all cases the cyclone is predicted to be a severe Category 4 or (in the case of the Fiji Met Service warning) a Category 5 as it passes close to or over Fiji.

This is will be a very powerful cyclone. Risk to life and property is extremely high.

 

As to which of the forecasts are ultimately correct only time will tell.

However the present situation is that all variants of the future path of TC Yasa are such that very significant and extensive damage will likely occur, and so our response should be the same, which is to BE PREPARED for any contingency.

It will be another 36 hours before the cyclone completes its loop late Wednesday evening, at which time we will know more precisely what path the cyclone will take.

But it is essential that you plan for the worst case scenario.

Even if the centre of the cyclone stays just offshore, winds are likely to reach destructive hurricane force over parts of the western division overnight Thursday and through Friday with widespread damage to significant structures possible while weaker structures are likely to be destroyed.

 

IF YOU ARE IN THE WESTERN DIVISION OR AROUND THE CORAL COAST, OR IN THE WESTERN AND NORTHERN PARTS OF THE INTERIOR OF VITI LEVU YOU SHOULD COMMENCE YOUR PREPAREDNESS FOR THE IMMINENT ARRIVAL OF A POWERFUL CATEGORY 4 OR 5 TROPICAL CYCLONE NOW. COLLECT WATER. / PLACE SHUTTERS OVER DOORS AND WINDOWS / BE PREPARED TO WITHSTAND LONG PERIODS WITHOUT ELECTRICITY.

IF YOU ARE IN LOW LYING AREAS AFFECTED BY FLASH FLOODING OR RIVER FLOODING YOU MUST CONSIDER RELOCATING, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR SHELTER IS NOT ABLE TO WITHSTAND SEVERE CYCLONIC WINDS. CLEAR DRAINS AND REMOVE LOOSE DEBRIS.

WIDESPREAD DAMAGE TO CROPS THROUGH WIND AND FLOODING DAMAGE CAN BE EXPECTED ACROSS THE WESTERN DIVISION AND KADAVU AS THE CYCLONE PASSES CLOSE TO FIJI. AVOID FLOOD WATERS!

LISTEN FOR AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FROM DISMAC, LOGAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES AND POLICE.

 

A heavy rain alert is now current for the Yasawa and Mamanuca islands, Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands.

Extended periods of heavy rain are expected over all of Viti Levu and all of Vanua Levu, and about Lomaiviti, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands.

Flood alerts are also in force for the same areas listed above.

Flash flooding and river flooding is highly likely and will affect transport corridors on land, close airports, and close coastal shipping.

This is especially problematic over the western division, with heavy rain commencing late Wednesday and continuing until Friday potential to bring flooding to the significant rivers in the west.

Please remain vigilant and follow weather updates closely and check www.met.gov.fj for details of all warnings as they are updated.

Tropical Cyclone Zazu which affected central Tonga yesterday is now moving southeast away from Fiji and will have no impact on our weather.



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