On 18 February at 0.00 (UTC), TC WINSTON had max. sustained winds of 194 km/h and its centre was located approx. 230 km northwest of Niue and 330 km northeast of Vava'u islands (Tonga).
Over the next 24 h it is forecast to move west-southwest, strengthening. Its centre may pass approx. 80-100 km north of Vava'u on 19 February, with max. sustained winds of 210-220 km/h. Then it may continue moving south-west, towards Lau islands (Fiji), slightly weakening.
Based on this forecast, strong winds, heavy rains and storm surge may affect again Tonga, especially Vava'u and Ha'apai group of islands, on 18-21 February. Moreover heavy rains and winds may also affect Niue on 18-19 February and again the Lau group of islands (Fiji) on 20-23 February.
In Tonga, over 60 families are already in shelters in Vava'u and another 35 in Ha'apai, according to media as of early 18 February.