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Wednesday 2 May 2012 | Published in Regional


Kitesurfers will welcome the Meteorological Service’s forecast that a strong wind warning will be in force until the end of the week.

The warning was first issued on Friday of last week and has remained in place until now.

Cook Islands Meteorological Services director Arona Ngari says the strong winds are originating from a high pressure system over New Zealand with a pressure of about 1046hPA.

This, he says, is unusually high.

“On the outer rim of the high pressure, winds (are) strong but as you get close to the centre of the high, winds will normally ease and eventually (there) will be light winds due to the subsidence of the cool air” and lack of clouds.

“Since the Cook Islands, and especially Rarotonga, (are) located on the periphery of this high system, winds can be strong in the first few days.

“When a trough of low pressure passes the Southern Cook Islands and gets to east of Rarotonga, the strong winds created by the high pressure would normally catch up with the trough and thus create a run-up of strong winds just behind the trough line. The gradient of isobars are then squashed between the high pressure and the trough of low pressure.

“As a rule of thumb in reading weather maps, the closer the isobars, the stronger the winds. So the strong winds are created by the high pressure and winds are stronger behind a trough line as compared to the winds ahead of it.”

Muri lagoon has this week been abuzz with activity as kiters and sailors take advantage of the wind.