Tropcal Cyclone Advisory No. 29 for Tonga on Tropical Cyclone Winston issued by the Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre at 4.30 pm Friday, 19 February 2016.
The Storm Warning previously in force for Vava’u is now cancelled. A gale warning is now in force for Vava’u and remains enforce for Niuatoputapu, Niuafo’ou and Ha’apai.
A strong wind warning remains in force for Tongatapu and ‘Eua.
The previous heavy rain and flash flood warnings for Vava’u is now also cancelled, but it remains in force for Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou.
A heavy damaging swell warning remain in force for all Tongan coastal waters.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston category 4 was located about 220km south-southeast of Niuafo’ou or 170km north-northwest of Neiafu at 3:00pm this afternoon. The cyclone is moving west at 22km/hr (12 knots). On its current track, the cyclone is expected to lie about 265km west-northwest of Neiafu or 260km south-southwest of Niuafo’ou at about 1:00am tomorrow morning (20/02/2016). Near its centre, the cyclone is estimated to have an average winds speed of 195km/hr (105 knots) with momentary gusts of 275km/hr (150 knots).
Forecast for Vava’u – damaging southeast gale force winds 75-85km/hr (40-45 knots) with momentary gusts up to 100-110km/hr (55-60 knots). Mostly cloudy with occasional showers, possibly heavy at times. Very rough to high seas and increasing from high to very high seas. A heavy damaging east to southeast swell.
Forecast for Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou – West to southwest winds 65-75km/hr (35-40 knots). Mostly cloudy with occasional rain, and possibly heavy at times, very rough seas possible flooding in low lying areas and a heavy damaging southeast swell.
Forecast for Ha’apai – Expect damaging southeast gale force winds 65-75km/hr (35-40 knots) mostly cloudy with occasional showers at times. Very rough to high seas. A heavy damaging east to southeast swell.
Forecast for Tongatapu and ‘Eua – East to southeast winds 45-55km/hr (25-30 knots). Mostly cloudy with scattered showers at times. Very rough seas to high seas, a heavy damaging east to southeast swell.
The mean sea level pressure recorded at Lupepau’u Airport, Vava’u at 4:00pm was 996.9 millibars, the relative humidity was 92% and the winds was southeast 65km/hr (34 knots) gusting 100km/hr (56 knots).