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Met Service issues strong wind warning

Monday 9 January 2023 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in National, Weather

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Met Service issues strong wind warning
Small boat owners are being urged to keep an eye on their vessels following strong wind and rough seas warning yesterday. 23010840

A strong wind warning for the land areas and waters of Southern Cook Islands has been issued by the Cook Islands Meteorological Service.

It says the gale force winds and occasional rain experienced yesterday are associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Hale – the first tropical cyclone of 2023 in the South Pacific.

Met Service director Arona Ngari said there were other frontal systems that were linked to the weather in Rarotonga and other parts of the Southern Group.

“The strong wind warning will persist and we will also experience patches of rain associated with this system. The rain is expected to continue until Wednesday.”

Ngari said between 8am to 2pm yesterday Rarotonga experienced 25 millimetres of rain.

According to the Met Service an active trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain is affecting the group.

Forecast to midnight (tonight) for the Southern Cooks include, over the land areas and waters, northwesterly winds 20 to 25 knots, gusting up to 30 knots and rough seas.

Periods of rain, heavy at times and few thunderstorms are also expected.

Ngari is asking small boat owners to keep an eye on their vessels.

“To the general public, be cautious of flying debris that could be secured leading up to the active months.”

Cook Islands is in the middle of the cyclone season which runs from November to April.

An assessment of named tropical cyclone (TC) activity from NIWA and Metservice released last year indicated six to 10 cyclones in the Southwest Pacific basin between November 2022 and April 2023.

The report said Cook Islands could expect zero to one cyclone in the 2022/23 TC season.