Tropical Cyclone Pola Category 2 was located about 315km west of Ha’apai, 285km west northwest of Nomuka, 325km west of Ha'apai or 290km northwest of Nuku’alofa, at 5:00pm this afternoon, (near latitude 19.6 south, longitude 177.4 west), according to a Tonga Met advisory this evening.
TC Pola is expected to develop into a Category 3 in the next 6 to 12 hours.
The system is gradually moving south southwest at the speed of 9 knots (15km/hr). The maximum winds near the center is about 60 knots (110 km/hr) with momentary gust up to 70-75 knots (130-140km/hr).
On its current track, TC Pola is expected to lie at about 285km west northwest of Nuku’alofa, 315km west northwest of 'Eua or 320km west of Nomuka at 10:00pm tonight. Heavy rain and gale force winds will affect Vava'u and Ha'apai and spread to Tongatapu and 'Eua this evening.
A storm force winds warning remains in force for Tele-ki-Tonga and Tele-ki-Tokelau.
A gale warning remains in force for Vava’u, Ha’apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua land areas and coastal waters.
A strong wind warning reamins in force for the Niuas land areas and coastal waters.
A heavy rain warning and flash flood advisories remains in force for Vava’u, Ha’apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua land areas.
A heavy damaging swell remains in force for all of Tonga coastal waters.