A storm warning for Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha’apai was cancelled at 2:45pm this afternoon by the Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre, but strong winds may still be experienced this evening.
The fast moving Tropical Cyclone Zena (Cat. 1) that was approaching Tonga from the West this morning has moved further south than expected and the system has been downgraded from Category 2 to Category 1 by Tonga Met this afternoon.
The latest weather advisory (number 7) states that TC Zena was located about 95km west-southwest of Nuku’alofa or 110km west of ‘Eua at 1:00pm. The cyclone has estimated average wind speeds of 65km/hr (35 knots) with momentary gusts of 90km/hr (50knots) and is moving east-southeast at 56km/hr (30 knots).
On its current track the cyclone is expected to lie about 145km southeast of Nuku’alofa at about 7:00pm this evening.
Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u can expect strong winds with average speeds of 45-55km/hr with momentary gusts up to 65km/hr, mostly cloudy with occasional rain, heavy at times, with rain easing out this afternoon.
Expect rough to very rough seas with heavy damaging swell.
The Niuas can expect west to north west 19-28km/hr winds increasing to 35km/hr at times, cloudy and overcast with scattered showers and possible isolated thunderstorms.
The mean sea level pressure recorded at Fua’amotu airport at 3:00pm this afternoon was 1002.1 millibars and the relative humidity was 99%.