Gale warnings remain in force for Tongatapu and ‘Eua with a strong wind warning for Vava’u and Ha’apai as Tropical Depression 15F was located about 465km west of Nuku’alofa at 11:00am this morning, 5 April. Forecasters warn that the system could possibly increase to tropical cyclone strength today, bringing squally thunderstorms and heavy rain. The system is moving east-southeast at about 15 km/h and on its current track is expected to lie about 25km west of Nuku'alofa or 60km west-northwest of 'Eua at about 10:00pm this evening.
The Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre at 12:10pm this afternoon issued Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number 5 stating that a heavy damaging swells warning remains in force for Vava’u, Ha’apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua coastal waters.
A heavy rain warning remains in force for Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u, with flash flooding warning for all these four islands.
Near its center, the system is estimated to have an average winds speed of 37-46km/hr (25-30knots) and possibly increasing to Tropical Cyclone strength 65-74km/hr (35-40 knots) in the next six to 12-hours.
Tongatapu and ‘Eua should expect east to northeast strong force winds with average speed of 46-56km/hr (25-30knots) possibly increasing to 65-74km/hr (35-40 knots) north northwest winds this afternoon.
For Vava’u and Ha’apai east to northeast strong force winds with average speed of 46-56km/hr (25-30 knots) today. Increasing to 56-65/km/hr (30-35 knots) north-northwest winds this evening.
For the Niuas east to northeast winds 19-28km/hr which is 10-15 knots variable at times.