• Tropical Cyclone (TC) WINSTON moved close to Ona-i-Liau and Vatoa islands (Fiji) in the afternoon of 15 Feb, with max. sustained winds of 80-100 km/h; then it passed northwest of the Ha’apai group of islands. In the morning of 16 Feb, it was moving close to Vava’u islands, with max. sustained winds of 100 km/h.
• Over the next 48 h it is forecast to continue moving northeast-east, strengthening. It may start turning south on 19 Feb and then towards west on 21 Feb; however the uncertainty of the forecast track and intensity after 18 Feb is still very high.
• According to this forecast, heavy rains and strong winds may still affect Vava'u and Ha'apai group of islands (Tonga), as well as Niue island, during the next four days.
• Heavy rains have already been affecting the Ha'apai group of islands. Local media report minor damages in Tongatapu and Ha'apai islands (Tonga), as well as in Lau islands (Fiji), due to floods, as of 16 Feb.
SOUTH PACIFIC TROPICAL CYCLONE SEASON
• From 1 Nov to 30 April
TROPICAL CYCLONE ULA – JANUARY 2016
• TC ULA moved between Tonga and Fiji islands on 1 – 3 Jan 2016, with max. sustained winds of the order of 160-170 km/h. It affected Tonga (especially Vava’u islands) and Fiji (especially Lau islands) with strong winds and heavy rains. Media reported floods and a number of damaged houses in Fiji and in some areas of Tonga.