Tropics


Tomas clears Fiji, focus shifts to Ului

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Tropical Cyclone Tomas has been downgraded to a category 3 cyclone after clearing the Fijian islands overnight.  He is now out over open waters and rapidly leaving the island group.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says it's possible Tomas may bring slightly bigger seas to eastern beaches from East Cape to Gisborne and Hawkes Bay over the next two days however it will be weakening quickly over colder waters.  Cyclones need to feed off warm water to survive.

Tomas has sustained winds of 138km/h and may bring some rain and wind to Tonga, however nothing severe is currently expected there.


Cyclone Tomas clears Fiji, hercules enroute

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An Air Force Hercules is on its way Fiji carrying much-needed food rations and other emergency supples.

Cyclone Tomas is moving south east away from the group of Pacific islands, but it remains unclear just how much damage the cyclone has left in its wake. A state of disaster has been declared, and it is feared there will have been a number of deaths.

As well as helping to distribute aid locally, the Hercules will fly a reconnaissance mission over the outer northern islands worst hit by the storm. Communications to those remote islands are still down.


Where will Tropical Cyclone Ului go?

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WeatherWatch.co.nz continues to closely monitor severe tropical cyclone Ului in the Coral Sea.

Yesterday Ului became stationery moving at just 5km/h.  The storm is still predicted to strengthen further and may become a category 5 storm as it heads further out into the Coral Sea.

The computer models are having a tough time agreeing on where Ului will track however yesterday most agreed that it will strengthen further then head towards the Queensland coast, coming onshore roughly halfway between Cairns and Brisbane.


Category 4 Tomas starting to move away from Fiji

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UPDATED
Severe tropical cyclone Tomas is tonight starting to move away from the two main Fijian islands.  This afternoon Tomas made a direct hit over the Southern Lau Group of islands, south east of Vanua Levu Island.  The area is made up of dozens of large volcanic islands home to about 11,000 people.

Tomas remained a Category 4 cyclone with sustained winds of 175km/h however is expected to ease to 150km/h during Wednesday.  Tonight gusts are still estimated to be reaching up to 250km/h.


TC Tomas at its closest to Fiji; TC Ului continues to intensify

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11:30pm Mon: Severe Tropical Cyclone Tomas is now at its closest point to Vanua Levu, with the centre of the eye roughly 60kms offshore to the east.

WeatherWatch.co.nz says it will cause major damage to homes and infrastructure along the eastern coastline until dawn NZT and continue to cause major damage to the islands dotted south east of the mainland until at least Tuesday afternoon NZT.


IMAGE: Twin severe cyclones north of New Zealand

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Two major tropical cyclones are continuing to intensify north of New Zealand today.

Tropical Cyclone Tomas is expected to hit Fiji today and into Tuesday. Suva may be seriously affected. The huge storm is expected to reach Category 4 status with sustained winds at 200km/h and gusts to 230km/h.

Meanwhile Intense Tropical Cyclone Ului is now a Category 5 cyclone with sustained winds expected to reach an incredible 290km/h with gusts to 350km/h - three and a half times our road speed limit.


Tropical cyclone headed for Fiji today

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A tropical cyclone is expected to hit Fiji this afternoon, causing heavy swells and flooding.

WeatherWatch.co.nz yesterday reported the storm was heading to Fiji and last night a gale warning was in place for the islands of Wallis and Futuna, north-east of Fiji, as well as southern Tuvalu.


Double tropical trouble north of NZ

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Two tropical cyclones have formed in the past 24 hours north of New Zealand reports WeatherWatch.co.nz. 


Two potential South Pacific Tropical Cyclones

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WeatherWatch.co.nz reports that two tropical storms have developed in the past 24 hours in the South Pacific and may turn into tropical cyclones by the weekend.

Tropical depression 19P has formed near Fiji and has favourable conditions to become a tropical cyclone as does 20P near Vanuatu.


Cyclone Sarah threatens Cook Islands

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The Cook Islands are again being threatened by a tropical cyclone.

Cyclone Sarah is sitting just off the coast of the island Palmerston, it is set to bring gale force winds, thunder, and heavy rain, a strong wind warning is also in place. Fiji's Met Service says it will not be as intense as Cyclone Pat, which whacked Aitutaki two weeks ago.