TOMAS a Cat 4A Storm on FEWW Scale
TOMAS Wobbled Toward Main Fiji Islands, Then Moved South
As the cyclone went past Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest Island, it wobbled toward the main islands; however, you couldn’t see what exactly happened because the high res satellite images were withdrawn from various sites.
Having checked the continuous loop images earlier, the moderators noticed that up to 3 original frames in the MTSAT image loops appeared to be “gap fillers.”
Latest satellite image of TOMAS, as of posting:
Back in FIJI …
The Government of FIJI has just declared a State of Disaster for the Northern and Eastern divisions of Fiji.
The declaration was made by Fiji’s National Disaster Council due to “the serious situation that had resulted in Tropical Cyclone Tomas’ wake in the North.” Fiji Times reported.
Officials said “The same situation as the North is likely to be repeated in the Eastern Division.” The Eastern division is made up of the Lomaiviti and Lau groups of islands.
Fiji’s “Northern division” consists of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island, Taveuni and dozens of smaller islands including Cikobia, Fiji Times said.
More than 17,000 people fled their homes in Western division, the report said.
“The National Disaster Council has declared a state of disaster in the northern division and eastern division,” National Disaster Management Office operations officer Anthony Blake said.
The Council is particularly concerned about the islands of Cikobia and Qelelevu because they have not heard anything from them since the cyclone struck there about 36 hours earlier.
At least 50 properties had been destroyed, as of posting, reports said. However, the extent of destruction and damage is bound to be much greater given the force of TOMAS and vulnerability of Fiji islands to storms.
“On Gau island to the east of Viti Levu, Lamiti village head teacher Solomone Rasiga told Fiji commercial radio the villagers sheltered overnight from fierce winds and heavy rain.” AFP reported.
“The wind is very strong, there is a lot of damage to crops,” he said.
Tropical Cyclone Tomas (TC 19P) – Summary of Details on March 16 at 00:01UTC
- Position: 18.2S 179.9W
- Max Sustained Winds : 210km/hr (~ 115 kts)
- Wind Gusts: ~ 260km/hr ( 140 kts)
- Movement: South
- Forward Speed: 9km/hr (~ 05 kts)
- Location: 315km (170 NM) EAST-NORTHEAST of NADI, FIJI
- Comment: TOMAS is a Category 4A hurricane on the FEWW New Hurricane Scale. The cyclone has good radial outflow and is experiencing low vertical wind shear. It is expected to start weakening in about 48 hours, becoming fully extratropical in 72 hours, as it experiences lower ocean heat content and higher vertical wind shear.
- Maximum significant wave height: 9m (27 feet)
- Sources: JTWC, CIMSS and others.
Cyclone TOMAS Projected Track. Source: JTWC. Click image to enlarge.
Cyclone ULUI (TC 20P) Details on March 16 at 00:01UTC
- Position: 13.3S 157.8E
- Max Sustained Winds: 232 km/hr (~ 125 kts)
- Wind Gusts: 290km/hr (~ 155 kts)
- Movement: West
- Forward Speed: ~ 7 km/hr ( 4 kts)
- Location: About 1,710km (925 NM) NNE of Brisbane, Australia
- Maximum significant wave height: 12m (36 feet)
- Sources: JTWC, CIMSS and others.
- Comment: ULUI is expected to start dissipating over water after about 72 hours due to increasing vertical wind shear and decreasing ocean heat content. The cyclone is a Category 4B hurricane on the FEWW New Hurricane Scale.
Cyclone ULUI Projected Track. Source: JTWC. Click image to enlarge.
MTSAT (NOAA) images from NOAA– Click images to enlarge and animate.
MTSAT – IR Image
MTSAT – Colorized IR Image
MTSAT – Visible Image