Tonga

Update on Tropical Cyclone "Winston" No. 6 (2:30pm, 19 February 2016)

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Situation

Tropical Cyclone "Winston", Category 4 (90knots) was located at about 250km South-Southeast of Niuafo’ou or 140km North-Northwest of Neiafu at about 12pm this afternoon. The Cyclone is moving West at speed of 22km/hr (12kts).

Current warnings

A Tropical Cyclone Warning

A Storm Warning inforce for Vava’u
A Gale warning was issued for Niuafo’ou and is remains inforce for Niuatoputapu and Ha’apai
A Strong wind warning was issued and remains inforce for Tongatapu and ‘Eua.
A Heavy Rain and Flash Flood warning remains inforce for Vava’u, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou.
Heavy damaging swell warnings (>4 meters) remain in force for all Tonga coastal waters.

Forecast

At this point of time TC Winston lies approximately 140km North-Northwest of Neiafu and with its westerly movement it is most likely with high confidence that tropical cyclone Winston is paying its last respects to Vava’u as it further moves out in a westerly direction, this implies for Niuatoputapu as well. On its current movement and track the island of Niuafo’ou has been put to a Gale Warning due to the extending radius of gales that may affect Niuafo’ou in the next 9-12hrs . Winston is most likely to moving in a West-Southwesterly direction heading for the Lau groups in Fiji in the next 24-48hrs. This forecast will continue to be validated and monitored for the next 12-24hrs upon close weather watch and analysis for any other significant changes of the current track of TC Winston. The current warnings is still held while monitoring as remnants of TC Winston may still affect our Area of Responsibility and also according to our warning criteria and Tropical Cyclone standard operating procedures.