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Cyclone warnings issued as low pressure system hits the Cooks

Sunday 4 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in National, Weather

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Cyclone warnings issued as low pressure system hits the Cooks

Official cyclone warnings have been issued as the Cook Islands braces for a bumpy ride with the weather.

A tropical cyclone alert was issued for the Southern Cooks late this afternoon. 

Tropical depression TD06F was located about 630 kilometres northwest of Palmerston Island,  990 km west-northwest of Aitutaki at 2pm.

TD06F was expected to intensify into a category one tropical cyclone in the following 24 TO 48 hours.

Both Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI) and Cook Islands Meteorological Service issued warnings on the weekend, calling on the public to remain aware of weather forecasts throughout the coming week, as conditions in the Southern Cooks were expected to deteriorate from Sunday evening.   

A strong wind warning was in force for land and water areas of the Northern Cooks with a coastal inundation alert also issued for the group.  

The Northern Group was expected to experience sea flooding of coastal areas, especially during high tides.

EMCI warned a low pressure system to the south of Samoa was numbered as Tropical Disturbance TD06F early on Saturday.

“TD06F is expected to move south-east through the Southern Cook Islands by Monday. The chance of TD06F developing into a Tropical Cyclone in the next 24 hours is low.”  

Cook Islands Meteorological Service director Arona Ngari told Cook Islands News on Sunday that gales might affect the Southern Cook Islands in the next 24 to 48 hours.

The Northern Group would be issued a strong wind warning due to the active convergency zone over the group, he said.

EMCI said Cook Islands Meteorological Service would provide regular updates on TD06F over the coming days, along with the potential development of a second Tropical Disturbance within the Cook Islands mid to late this week.

“The public are requested to remain aware of weather forecasts throughout the coming week, as we can expect conditions in the Southern Cook Islands to deteriorate from Sunday evening.  

“The exact path of these tropical weather systems remains unclear at this stage, but some Southern Group Islands are expected to experience strong winds, heavy rain and very rough seas as the systems move through our region.

“Please check on our vulnerable families and ensure houses are well secured, gutters and drains are clear.”

Earlier on Sunday,  Cook Islands Meteorological Service issued a statement, saying a strong wind warning remained in force for land areas and water of the Northern Cooks.

While a trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain affected the Southern Cooks, an   active trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain affected the Northern Cooks.

Occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms were forecast north of Aitutaki with some showers elsewhere. Moderate to fresh easterly winds were expected with moderate to rough seas.

The further outlook was occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms over most places.

For Rarotonga there would be cloudy periods with some showers, and a further outlook suggested occasional showers and isolated thunderstorms.