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Fiji Meteorological Service: 2020/2021 Tropical Cyclone Outlook - “Near average to below average cyclone season”

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Highlights:

  • In total, four to six named tropical cyclones are predicted for Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre - Nadi’s (RSMC-Nadi) area of responsibility. In addition, one to three severe TCs expected in RSMC-Nadi’s area during the 2020-21 TC season.

  • One to three tropical cyclones likely to traverse Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) during the 2020-21 TC Season. Similarly, one severe TC could affect Fiji’s EEZ during the season;

  • During past TC seasons which are similar to present, a number of tropical cyclones which affected Fiji passed through the west of the Fiji Group. Thus, there is an elevated risk of TCs to pass through the Western Division this season.

  • The 2020-21 season’s TC Outlook has been influenced by a La-Niña event which is currently underway in the tropical Pacific.

  • With a La-Niña event been established in the tropical Pacific, there is an increased risk of flooding across the Fiji Group during the coming November to April period.

The official 2020-21 Tropical Cyclone (TC) Season extends between 1st of November 2020 and 30th April 2021. The peak period for TC activities in the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) Nadi– Tropical Cyclone Centre (TCC) Area of Responsibility (AoR) is usually from January to March. While the TC season is between November to April, occasionally cyclones.

in the region have formed in October and May and rarely in September and June. Therefore, an out of season tropical cyclone activity cannot be ruled out.

RSMC Nadi - TCC is responsible for monitoring TC activity in the area bounded from 160 degrees East (160°E) to 120 degrees West (120°W) Longitude and from the Equator to 25 degrees South (25°S) Latitude (refer to figure 1).

It should be noted that the predictions provided are only to be used as guidance and the given range of TC numbers is indicative only. It is expected that the total number of TCs could be in the vicinity of the listed values, and not necessarily within the given range.

Tropical disturbances or depressions that do not attain TC intensity or low-pressure systems that are remnants of older cyclones, can still cause widespread rainfall and potential flooding. All communities should remain alert and prepared throughout the 2019-20 TC season and take heed of TC alerts, warnings and advisories seriously whenever it is issued from their respective National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to reduce the effects on life and property.

A detailed version of the 2020-21 TC Seasonal Outlook issued by the Fiji Meteorological Service is available on the official website of the department at www.met.gov.fj.

For more information and clarification: please contact the Director of Meteorology, Mr. Misaeli Funaki on 9905379 or misaeli.funaki@met.gov.f