Fiji’s Weather Office is monitoring three systems – a tropical cyclone, an Ex-tropical Cyclone and a tropical depression.
While Fiji is unlikely to be directly affected at this stage, the Fiji MET Office advises ongoing vigilance is necessary due to the unpredictable nature of tropical cyclones.
Tropical Cyclone OSAI was located off Southern Cooks. Ex-Tropical Cyclone NAT, located to the west of French Polynesia is expected to weaken to a low pressure within the next 12 hours. In contrast, TD05F, which has re-entered Fiji’s area of responsibility, located off Vanuatu, is expected to intensify into a Tropical Cyclone within the next 24-48 hours. The system is expected to hover around Vanuatu and then weaken.
While Fiji is in the clear in terms of direct impact, Fiji Met Acting Director Bipen Prakash cautions that the ripple effects of TD05F will impact the region from the weekend till early next week.
“Public should be vigilant as there is significant increase in weather activity in the southwest Pacific due to an active Madden-Julian Oscillation pulse,” Prakash said.
He also advises staying updated with the latest weather information, noting the likelihood of more weather systems developing in the region in the coming week.
In the meantime, a heavy rain warning and flash flood alert are in force for the Northern Division, Yasawa, Lau and Lomaiviti groups, and northern and eastern parts of Viti Levu (Tavua, Rakiraki, Tailevu, Navua, Suva, Nausori, interior Ba-Ra-Naitasiri & Serua-Namosi).
Occasional rain, heavy at times, and few thunderstorms are likely in areas under Heavy Rain Warning. Rain is expected to become frequent in the afternoon and evening. Localised heavy falls may lead to flash flooding of low-lying and flood-prone areas. Afternoon or evening thunderstorms which is very common during this time of the year have the potential to produce intense amount of rainfall, including in areas that are not in Heavy Rain Warning, within few hours.