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Tropical Cyclone Kofi pushes heavy rain and strong gusts into Tonga

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Rough seas and heavy rain did not deter swimmers at Uafu ‘Amelika, Nuku’alofa, ahead of Tropical Cyclone Kofi. Saturday, March 1, 2014.

Rough seas and heavy rain did not deter swimmers at Uafu 'Amelika, Nuku'alofa, ahead of Tropical Cyclone Kofi. Saturday March 1, 2014.

Tongatapu was experiencing heavy rain showers and strong gusty winds this afternoon as Tropical Cyclone Kofi moved southeast towards southern Tongan waters.

Tropical Cyclone Kofi on its current track is expected to be centred about 205km west-southwest of Nomuka or 140km west of Nuku‘alofa about midnight tonight, Saturday. The Fua'amotu TCWC warns that damaging gale force winds may occur several hours before the Cyclone centre passes. Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha‘apai can expect damaging gale force winds of 35 knots with gusts up to 50 knots overnight.

Tropical cyclone advisory number six for Tonga on Tropical Cyclone Kofi issued from the Fua‘amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre at 3:00pm Saturday March 1, 2014.

A Tropical Cyclone warning remains in force for Ha‘apai, Tongatapu and 'Eua, and is now cancelled for Vava‘u.

A gale warning is now cancelled for Vava‘u and Niua but remains in force for Ha‘apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua.

A heavy rain advisory remains in force for all land areas.

An extreme high tide advisory remains in force for Tonga waters.

A heavy damaging swells advisory remains in force for Tonga waters.

Tropical Cyclone Kofi, centre [990hpa] was located near 19 decimal 6 south, 177 decimal 1 west, or 210km west-northwest of Tofua, or 250km west-northwest of Nomuka, or 260km north-northwest of Nuku‘alofa at 1:00pm this afternoon.

The system is moving southeast at 14 knots. Near its centre are damaging gale force winds with average speeds of 35 knots with momentary gusts of 50 knots.

On its current track its centre is expected to lie about 205km west-southwest of Nomuka or 140km west of Nuku‘alofa about midnight tonight.

Damaging gale force winds may occur several hours before the Cyclone centre passes nearby.

For Ha'apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua:

Damaging gale force winds 35 knots with momentary gust up to 50 knots.

Overcast with occasional rain, heavy at times with squally thunderstorms.

Flash flooding including sea flooding in the low-lying areas of tonga.

High seas. north to northeast damaging swell.

For Niua and Vava‘u:

North to northwest winds 20-25 knots rising up to 35-40 knots. Overcast with period of rain, heavy at times with squally thunderstorms. Rough to very rough seas.

Tide predictions:

High tide, 7:30pm

Low tide, 1:45am (02/3/14)

Mean sea level pressure recorded at Fua‘amotu Airport at 3:00pm was 997.3mb.