Vavaʻu faces “destructive winds” as severe Cyclone Ula increasingly intensified

Vavaʻu Islands were facing “destructive winds” of 100-110 kilometres per hour  within 12 – 24 hours as Tropical Cyclone Ula increasingly intensified,  reported the Fuaʻamotu Tropical Warning Centre (FTWC) today at 1pm Firday 1, 2016, at its cyclone warning advisory number six.

For Tongatapu, ʻEua, Niuatoputapu and Haʻapai,  winds gradually increasing to destructive winds with average speed of 80-90km/hr with momentary gust up to 120km/hr in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Ula has been upgraded to Category Three and warning about its severity remains in force for Niuatoputapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua, according to FTWC.

A hurricane warning remains in force for Vava’u.

A storm warning remains in force for Niuatoputapu, Ha’apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua.

A gale warning remains in force for Niuafo’ou.

A heavy damaging swells remains inforce for Niuatoputapu, Vavau, Haapai, Tongatapu and ʻEua waters.

A heavy rain warning is now in force for all Tonga.

Situation:

Severe tropical Cyclone Ula(category 3) was located 16 decimal 4 south, 169 decimal 9 West or 410km East of Niuatoputapu or 500km East-Northeast of Vava’u at 10:00am this morning.

The cyclone has estimated winds of 120km/hr near its centre. The cyclone is currently moving Southwest at a speed of 8km/hr.

On its current track severe Tropical Cyclone Ula is expected to lie 170km South of Niuatoputapu or 180km North-Northeast of Vava’u around midnight tonight.

For Vavaʻu:

Winds gradually increasing to very destructive winds of 100-110km/hr with momentary gust up to 130km/hr in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Cloudy with occasional showers, gradually becoming overcast with frequent heavy rain with squally thunderstorms. Expect possible flash flooding including seas flooding in low lying areas.

Very high to phenomenal seas. A heavy damaging swell developing.

For Niuatoputapu, Haapai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua:

Winds gradually increasing to destructive winds with average speed of 80-90km/hr with momentary gust up to 120km/hr in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Mostly cloudy with scattered showers becoming overcast with frequent heavy rain with squally thunderstorms.

High to very high seas. A heavy damaging swell developing.

For Niuafo’ou:

Winds gradually increasing to damaging winds of 65-70km/hr in the next 18 to 24 hours.

Mostly cloudy with scattered showers possible heavy at times. Very rough seas. A moderate to heavy east to southeast swell.

Tide predictions:

High tide : 12:45pm

Low  tide : 07:00pm

The mean sea level pressure recorded at Lupepau’u airport (Vavau) at 1:00pm was 1003.6 millibars.

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