Weather

Cyclone Winston set to weaken, but could reach Suva next week

There is a high risk of direct impacts of Tropical Cyclone Winston on Kadavu, Southern and Central Lau around the middle of next week. Lomaiviti and southeastern Viti Levu, including Suva, are also potentially at risk. The Fiji Meteorological Office today released a forecast for Tropical Cyclone Winston, which shows the Category 4 cyclone starting […]

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February 13, 2016 10:00 pm

There is a high risk of direct impacts of Tropical Cyclone Winston on Kadavu, Southern and Central Lau around the middle of next week. Lomaiviti and southeastern Viti Levu, including Suva, are also potentially at risk.

The Fiji Meteorological Office today released a forecast for Tropical Cyclone Winston, which shows the Category 4 cyclone starting to turn towards Fiji tomorrow.

Tropical Cyclone Forecast map, released by the Fiji Meterological Service at 7.11pm today.
Tropical Cyclone Forecast map, released by the Fiji Meteorological Service at 7.11pm today.

According to Nadraki Weather:

Category 4 tropical Cyclone Winston lies about 800 km southwest of Nadi this afternoon and is moving southeast at around 8 kilometres per hour. At this time TC Winston is having minimal influence on our weather, with just brief passing showers mostly about the west of the group. However it is apparent now that tropical cyclone Winston will start to move northeast back towards the eastern and central divisions of Fiji later tomorrow and Monday. Although unusual, it is not unknown for cyclones to turn back after passing Fiji and we should be prepared for a significant impact over southern and eastern parts of the country early next week.

The official forecast track together with the track forecast from the US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) which is the joint US Navy, Army and Air Force warning centre are attached. As you can see, the forecasts track brings TC Winston on a recurving path northeastward, up towards the southeastern part of Fiji next week around Tuesday. Also attached is series of graphs and charts we looked at last week showing a map of the forecast tracks from various models. The various forecasts being the centre close to the main island of Viti levu on Tuesday night and Wednesday. The HWRF model brings the cyclone closest to Fiji, and less than 100km from Suva. It may well be a severe cyclone (Category 3 or higher) as it moves close to Fiji.

There is a high risk of direct impacts of TC Winston on Kadavu around the middle of next week, Southern and central Lau. Lomaiviti and southeastern Viti Levu including Suva are also potentially at risk.

With TC Winston now forecast to curve back over southern parts of Fiji we need to consider preparedness for those parts of Fiji who might find themselves in harms way should this predicted movement of TC Winston come to pass. For now impacts from TC Winston will be minimal while the centre of the cyclone is well to the southwest, however you should remain remain alert as the cyclone passes to our south and be prepared for further impacts next week if the cyclone approaches Fiji as forecast.

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