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Tonga on alert for Tropical Cyclone Sarai

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

UPDATED 8:00PM: Tonga remains on alert this weekend, with strong wind and heavy rain warnings in force for all Tonga land areas, as Tropical Cyclone Sarai (Category 2) continues to move toward Tongan waters. Mariners of small fishing boats are advised not to go out to the sea for all of Tonga coastal waters.

At 4:00pm this afternoon TC Sarai was moving East Southeast at a speed of 8 knots (16km per hour). The maximum wind speed near the center is about 55 knots (110 km/hr) with momentary gusts of up to 65 knots (130km/hr).

Tropical cyclone advisory number 7 for Tonga on TC Sarai, issued from the Fua'amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre at 8:00pm on Saturday 28 December 2019 stated that on its current track, TC Sarai is expected to lie at about 210km southwest of SUVA, Fiji by 2:00am Sunday morning.

The forecast for all of Tonga:

  • Moderate to fresh east to north-east winds 15-20 knots (30-40km/hr),
  • Rising up to strong winds at times 25-30knots (50-60km/hr).
  • Mostly cloudy with occasional rain, heavy at times with isolated thunderstorms.
  • Moderate to rough seas (up to 3 meters). A moderate to heavy easterly swell (3 to 4 meters).
  • Mariners of small fishing boats are hereby advised not to go out to the sea for all of Tonga coastal waters.
  • Poor visibility in the areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The mean sea level pressure recorded at Fua'amotu Airport at 8:00pm was 1010.1 millibars and the relative humidity was 96%.

The FTCWC advised that the potential for formation of a Tropical Cyclone in the Tonga area is very high (>50%) for Wenesday 1 January and Thursday 2nd January 2020.

The next tropical cyclone advisory on TC Sarai for Tonga will be issued from Fua'amotu about 2:00am Sunday morning.