TC Liua weakens, poses no direct threat to Fiji

TC Liua is weakening and moving west-northwest at about 13km per hour. It is expected to take a westerly track and move out of Fiji’s Area of Responsibility by midday tomorrow. On the forecast track, it does not pose any direct threat to the Fiji Group. Picture: National Disaster Management Office NDMO/Facebook

THE 2018/19 tropical season has started earlier than usual with Tropical Cyclone Liua being the first named cyclone which formed near Solomon Islands.

According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, TC Liua is weakening and moving west-northwest at about 13km per hour.

It is expected to take a westerly track and move out of Fiji’s Area of Responsibility by midday tomorrow.

On the forecast track, it does not pose any direct threat to the Fiji Group.

The Tropical Depression (TD01F) lying in the favourable condition, developed into a Tropical Depression and was upgraded to a category 1 cyclone, at 6am on Thursday  September 27, 2018.

“Tropical cyclones rarely occur in the month of September in the Southwest Pacific,” Fiji Meteorological Service director Ravind Kumar said in a statement.

“With the high quality database that Fiji Meteorological Service has since 1969/70 season to present, there has been no occurrence of a tropical cyclone in the month of September.”

Three key weather conditions that are necessary for tropical cyclone to develop is warm ocean waters as tropical cyclones can only form over ocean waters that are at least 27˚C warm, need to form at least 5 degrees of latitude away from the equator so that have some rotational effect and an environment with low wind shear.

Meanwhile, the following warnings for Fiji are in force.

1.      A “Heavy Rain Warning” remains in force for the interior and eastern parts Viti Levu, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands Lau and Lomaiviti Groups.

  1. A “Strong Wind Warning” remains in force for all land areas of Southwest Viti Levu, Yasawa and Mamanuca Group, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti Group.
  2. A “Strong Wind Warning” remains in force for all Fiji Waters including Rotuma.

Members of the public are advised to start preparing for the upcoming Tropical Cyclone season and keep updated with the latest weather update as weather can change rapidly during this time of the year.

Fiji Meteorological Service will keep a close on weather systems in the coming days.

For more information visit www.met.gov.fj or call 6724888.

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