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  • Tomas moves on Lau group with hurricane-force winds
    Monday, March 15, 2010

    HURRICANE Tomas, the Category 4 Tropical Cyclone (TC), is on its final 12 hours of intensity, and is currently hammering the Lau Group.

    The eye and core feature of the cyclone with destructive Storm Force to very destructive Hurricane force winds are now moving over Northern Lau Group and are expected to affect Central and Southern Lau later, said director of meteorology, Rajendra Prasad in a brief issued at 9am today.

    The Northern division which has been pounded by hurricane force winds and effects since Sunday evening should now see winds decreasing slowly today with rain easing, he said.

    In the Central division, including the capital city Suva, damaging gale force winds with gusts to 85km/hr can be expected today with periods of rain.

    Mr Prasad said some flash flooding was possible in the Central division but not on a large scale.

    Rakiraki and Sigatoka areas in the Western Division should experience strong to near gale force winds (up to 30knots with gusts to 40 Knots) with periods of rain. The rest of the Western Division would experience some fresh to strong winds (up to 45 km/hr or 25 knots) and occasional rain, he said

    No flooding was expected for the Western division, which includes the majority of the tourism belt.

    The system has maintained a southerly course moving slowly but steadily. However, its speed of movement is picking up slightly now from 10km/hr to 15km/hr. This may increase a little further as the system gets to Southern Lau. A slow southeast curvature in path of Tomas is expected to commence by then, Mr Prasad said.

    He said TC Tomas had reached peak intensity with estimated average winds of 175km/hr (95 knots) and momentary gusts up to 230 km/hr (125 knots) close to the centre with damaging gale force winds extending in a 280km radius (150 nautical miles) from the centre.

    It should maintain this intensity for another 12 hours before commencing a gradual weakening trend. However, it should maintain its CAT 3 Hurricane strength until after leaving Fiji waters.

    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by Londen time 10:55 PM  
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    The tropical cyclone data presented at this site are intended to convey only general information on current storms and must not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to the protection of property: the data may not be accurate. If you are in the path of a storm you should be listening to official information sources. These data have no official status and should not be used for emergency response decision-making under any circumstances