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The Fua’amotu Tropical Cylone Warning Center (FTCWC) Activates as Tropical Cyclone Sarai (Category 1) Continues to Develop in the Fiji Islands

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27th December, 2019 Tropical Cyclone (TC) “SARAI” (Category 1) was located near 16.3 South latitude, 175.5 East longitude or about 260 Kilometers Northwest of Nadi, Fiji at 10am this morning. TC “SARAI” is currently moving South at about 14 Knots (28 Km/Hr) with a maximum 10-minute average winds up to 35 knots (70 Km/Hr) near its center, with momentary gusts of up to 45 knots (90 Km/Hr).

From its position at 10am local time this morning and with cross-reference to our island groups it was about 950 Kilometers West of Niuafo’ou, 1140 Kilometers West-Northwest of Neiafu, Vava’u and Pangai, Ha’apai, 1115 Kilometers West-Northwest of Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu and about 1150 Kilometers West-Northwest of ‘Ohonua, ‘Eua. At this point of time Tropical Cyclone “SARAI” (Category 1) is still far away from the Kingdom of Tonga as of its latest position at 10am this morning.

There is high confidence based on the analysis and weather forecasting models performance that TC “SARAI” (category 1) would continue to track south within the Fiji group of islands for the next 12 to 24hrs. It is expected that the system will be at a distance of 170 Kilometers, West of Nadi, Fiji by 7pm this evening. As of the latest forecast track this afternoon, TC “SARAI” is expected be closing into our Tonga waters between Sunday (29th December 2019) to Monday (30th December 2019).

The Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre (FTCWC), has been activated at 1pm local time this afternoon and will continue to provide Tropical Cyclone Advisories (TCAs), Alerts and Warnings for Tonga on the developments of Tropical Cyclone “SARAI” every six hours from now on and advisories will be updated more often prior to its track closing into our area of responsibility.

The weather as we head into this weekend is expected to deteriorate as the system moves closer to our Tonga waters and land areas. We should be expecting damaging to destructive gale force winds and heavy rain which may lead to flooding. Storm surges could also be expected along the coast. For mariners, strong winds with rough seas could be expected from today onwards until next week. The situation is closely monitored, and any alert and warning will be issued as and when significant changes are anticipated.

Members of the public are always advised to remain alert and vigilant and to take warnings and advisories from relevant authorities seriously when issued, remain prepare and to be updated with the latest weather information.

For more details and the latest on weather, please contact the Tonga Meteorological Services on 35355, 35008 or visit the Tonga Meteorological Service’s website at www.met.gov.to . You can also visit the Tonga Meteorological Service official Facebook page for latest updates.

ENDS

For further information please contact the Meteorology Division on 35355 or metstaff@met.gov.to. More information is also available at www.met.gov.to