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Tropical cyclone Victor moving away

Monday January 18, 2016 Written by Published in Weather

Cook Islands seem to have escaped the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Victor which was formed from a tropical depression approaching the country this week.

 

Yesterday, the Cook Islands Meteorological Service said the category two cyclone was heading away from the country at four knots (seven kilometre per hour).

The wind at the centre of the system was traveling at a speed of 50 knots (about 90 km/h).

Service director Arona Ngari said Palmerston was the only island in the group which could face the brunt of TC Victor.

He said the cyclone which until Thursday was following the southerly track, had now changed its course to south-southwest.

Ngari said it had hardly moved since early yesterday, adding the system was intensifying.

“Based on the path it is following, Cyclone Victor is actually moving out of the Cook Islands but Palmerston would be affected with some strong winds, rough seas and rain,” he said.

“Rather than taking a southerly track, this cyclone seemed to be pushing westerly and hopefully, it will move further away from the southern Cooks.”

Overcast and windy conditions were experienced in Rarotonga yesterday with some big swells at the surrounding seas.

Ngari said the swells were generated by TC Victor.

“Although the cyclone is moving away, we request people to remain vigilant and take heed and caution, especially out at sea.”

A weather bulletin from the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre for the Cook Islands at midday yesterday said associative rain bands would continue to affect the islands.

For Rarotonga, the bulletin said there would be occasional rain, heavy at times and squally thunderstorms. 

For the northern Cook Islands (Rakahanga, Manihiki, Suwarrow, Nassau and Pukapuka), damaging gale force winds with average speed of 35 knots and gusting to 50 knots with periods of heavy rain and few squally thunderstorms have been forecasted.

“Sea flooding of low lying areas likely, high seas and moderate to heavy northerly swells.”

“If you have families living in Palmerston, do notify them of the cyclone that is likely to affect them this weekend,” Ngari said.