11.30am Thursday 15th December 2016
TD04F UPGRADED TO TROPICAL DEPRESSION
The Tropical Disturbance (TD04F) has intensified and upgraded to tropical depression at 4am this morning. TD04F was located near 15.0 South latitude and 174.8 East longitude or about 420km Northwest of Nadi or about 350km Northwest of Yasawa-Rara at 10am this morning.
TD04F is anticipated to gradually intensify and become a category 1 cyclone by later Friday. On the projected track, the system is anticipated to move southeast towards Fiji and gradually take a southerly turn to locate west of Yasawa-Rara on Saturday and west-southwest of Nadi on Sunday.
Within the next 24 to 48 hours the major concern is continuing heavy rain, floods, strong and gusty winds associated with the system. The streams and rivers in the Rewa and Rakiraki catchments are increasing and currently the following warnings are in force:
A Flood Alert is now in force for all low lying areas and small streams adjacent to major rivers for the whole of Fiji;
A flood Alert is now in force for Rakiraki Town;
A “Heavy Rain Warning” is in force for whole of Fiji;
A “Strong Wind Warning” is remains in force for land areas of Fiji; and
A “Strong Wind Warning” remains in force for all Fiji Waters.
Expect periods of heavy rain to continue with squally thunderstorms over most parts of the country today, tomorrow and through the weekend as the system moves closer to Fiji. This increases the chances of flooding of majors rivers in the coming days as more rain is forecasted. Expect moderate to fresh northeast to southeast winds, gradually turning northerly and becoming strong and gusty with average speeds of 45km/hr and momentary gusts up to 60km/hr from tomorrow. Mariners should anticipate east to southeast winds with average speeds of 20 to 30 knots and gusting up to 35 knots and winds turning northerly from tomorrow with seas becoming very rough. Visibility will be poor in areas of heavy rain and squally thunderstorms. All communities are advised to take necessary precautions and remain prepared at all times as flood alert is already in place for all low lying areas and streams adjacent to major rivers.
Also prepare for strong winds as the system is moving closer to Fiji. Please take alerts, warnings and advisories seriously and remain updated with the latest weather bulletins.
For more details and the latest on weather, please contact the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre on 6736006, 9905376 or visit the Fiji Meteorological Service’s website, www.met.gov.fj.