Weather eye on tropical disturbance moving east

Tuesday January 14, 2020 Written by Published in Weather

Cook Islands is wary of a tropical disturbance likely to turn into a tropical cyclone later this week in the southwest Pacific region.


TD47 was yesterday located west-northwest of Fiji and the country’s meteorological service predicts it has “moderate to high” chances of  developing into a tropical cyclone this week.

Arona Ngari, the director of Cook Islands Meteorological Service, yesterday said they were closely monitoring the system.

Ngari said the position of the tropical disturbance and its direction was a concern for the Cook Islands.

“The tropical disturbance TD47 was detected at 6pm on Sunday and the Fiji meteorological service has given it moderate to high chances of developing into a tropical cyclone by Wednesday,” Ngari said.

“We are closely monitoring the system and would keep the public updated through our radio and television bulletins as well as updates on our website and Facebook page.”

Ngari said if the system turns into a cyclone, they could expect high seas and rain later this week.

Rarotonga suffered the brunt of downgraded Tropical Cyclone Sarai a fortnight ago. Coastal areas around the island were hammered by sea surge that caused major damages to properties along the area. The seawall road in Nikao was closed due to high seas.

Ngari said people should not take cyclones lightly and act accordingly when warnings were issued to them.

Tropical disturbance TD47 was more than a 1300km from Fiji early yesterday and moving in a south-easterly direction.

Misa Funaki, who is the director the Fiji Met Service, said it was unclear how strong the cyclone might become, with various models ranging in intensity from category one to three.

“It’s very slow moving as we speak and still weak and disorganised, in terms of the centre, but we are expecting it to develop into a tropical cyclone in the next two days or so and then the system is tracking in a general southeastern movement, tracking it towards Fiji,” Funaki told RNZ

A heavy rain alert is now in force for parts of Fiji.

Tonga’s meteorological service yesterday warned this month could see at least one cyclone develop over the southwest Pacific, which includes the Cook Islands.

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