Fiji Meteorological Service Media Release No.63: TD13F Expected to Loop before It Tracks South-eastwards
3pm, Sunday, 08 April 2018
TD13F remains to the west of the Group and has gradually picked up speed in the last 24 hours. There has been a delay in intensification and movement as the system is expected to loop before it takes a south-eastward track.
The system is intensifying and anticipated to develop into a Category 1 cyclone in the next 12 to 18 hours. The environmental condition remains favorable for further intensification and TD13F is likely to pass just southwest Fiji on Tuesday or early hours of Wednesday.
At 3pm this afternoon, TD13F was located about 17.0 degrees south latitude and 170.2 degrees east longitude or about 770km west of Nadi or 790km west of Yasawa-i-Rara. It is moving south-southwest at 09km/hr and expected to take a northward loop and move south-eastwards.
The outer active rain bands from TD13F have started to affect the western parts of the country. As the system moves closer to Fiji, rain will become heavy and frequent from tomorrow. Effects of strong winds are also expected from tomorrow and increasing to damaging gale force winds later in the evening.
Depending on the closeness of the system to pass land areas, gale force to storm force winds can be expected especially over the Western Division, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti Groups. Given that the tropical cyclones have behaved erratically, when encountering land masses in the past, the possibility of TD13F making a landfall remains a possibility at this stage and its movement will be closely monitored.
A Special Weather Bulletin for Tropical Cyclone Alert is current to allow communities to prepare for the worst case scenario should the system directly affect the Group. Meanwhile, an active trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain continues to affect the Group and the following alerts and warnings are currently in force:
A “Tropical Cyclone Alert” is in force for Yasawa and Mamanuca Group, Viti Levu,
Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lomaiviti and Southern Lau Group;
A “Strong Wind Warning” is in force for all land areas and Waters of Fiji;
A “Heavy Rain Warning” is in force for whole of Fiji;
A “Flood Warning” is in force for areas downstream of Vatukacevaceva to Rakiraki Town and Emuri to Semo Village (Tuva River);
A “Flood Alert” is in force for major rivers of Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Western Division and for low lying areas and areas adjacent to and downstream of Nasivi to Tavua Town, Dreketilailai to Qawa River, Votualevu to Nadi Town (Nadi River), Vatutu to Nadi Town (Nawaka River) and Emuri to Semo Village.
The chances of flooding of low lying areas and river flooding are very high today and in the next 2 to 3 days. With persistent heavy rain, the chances of landslide are also high. Likewise, the chance of sea flooding of low lying coastal areas over the next 2 to 3 days is high.
As the systems approaches, the western and the southern coastlines are at high risk of inundation by combined effect of wind stress, high tide and storm surge.
The effects of wind can cause damages to well-built framed homes which can blow away roofs, trees uprooted and branches being broken, severely damage weak structures, totally destroy shallow rooted crops, cause loose objects to fly, damage electricity lines and poles, damage water infrastructure, etc.
All communities living in low coastal, flood prone and low lying areas are reminded to take all necessary precautions, similarly for those living in landslide prone and low lying coastal areas to remain vigilant. Members of the public are advised to remain updated with the latest weather information and take alerts and warnings seriously.
For more details and the latest on weather, please contact the National Weather Forecasting Centre on 6736006, 9905376 or visit the Fiji Meteorological Service’s website, www.met.gov.fj. You can also visit the Fiji Meteorological Service official Facebook page for latest updates.