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Tropical Cyclone 19P Tracks Southwest

24.7S 173.1E

March 24th, 2011 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone 19P - March 22nd, 2011

Enhanced image

Track of TC 19P

Tropical Cyclone 19P, located approximately 200 nm southeast of Suva, Fiji, has tracked southwestward at 08 knots during the past six hours. The main image shows the storm as it was organizing on the 22nd, while the animated imagery shows its recent track.

Animated infrared imagery shows continuing intensification and consolidation of convection around the low level circulation center (LLCC). An SSMI image reveals abundant curved banding wrapping into the LLCC, although deep convection is suppressed over the western quadrant.

The current intensity is based on a Dvorak estimate of 35 knots. Water vapor animation shows an approaching mid-latitude trough enhancing outflow over the southeastern quadrant, which will act to deepen the system over the short term. However, the trough is also causing some inhibition of outflow over the western portion of the system, but overall 19P exists in a region of weak vertical wind shear.

TC 19P is currently steering along the western periphery of an anticyclone to the southeast but is beginning to take a more southerly track due to the influence of the encroaching upper level trough. The trough is not expected to couple with the LLCC, which will resume a southwestward track as the trough passes after TAU 48.

Additionally, strong vertical wind shear associated with a deeper mid-latitude trough, currently moving over Brisbane, Australia, will rapidly weaken and dissipate the system by TAU 72. Maximum significant wave height at 15 feet.

The Islands of Viti Levu and Ovalau, Fiji – December 29th, 2009

18.1S 178.4E

December 29th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Fiji - December 19th, 2009

Fiji - December 19th, 2009

This orthorectified image focuses on the island of Viti Levu, the largest island in the Republic of Fiji. Viti Levu is the site of the nation’s capital, Suva, visible on a peninsula near the Rewa River.

The island is home to 70% of the population (about 600,000) and is the hub of the entire Fijian archipelago. It measures 146 kilometers long and 106 kilometers wide and has an area of 10,389 square kilometers.

Geologists believe that Viti Levu has been submerged a number of times, and has been covered by lava and other volcanic materials. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions account for the somewhat rugged terrain of the island, which is divided into roughly equal halves by a north-south mountain range. The centre of the island includes the nation’s highest peak Mount Tomanivi (otherwise Mt. Victoria) rising to 1,324 meters.

Several other islands can be seen near Viti Levu, the largest of which is Ovalau, the sixth largest island in Fiji’s Lomaiviti archipelago. Situated 60 km north east from the national capital Suva and 20 km off the east coast of Viti Levu, the island is about 13 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide. It covers a total area of 102.3 square kilometers and has a population of around 9,000, approximately half the Lomaiviti population.

Ovalau is characterized by its rugged topography, with little flat land apart from the Lovoni Valley in the centre of the island. The island is an eroded volcanic crater with a narrow belt of flat to udulating country between the encircling lagoon and the steep crater sides. The highest peaks are Nadelaiovalau, with an altitude of 625 meters, in the east, and Tomuna, 526 meters, in the south.

The Republic of the Fiji Islands – April 7th, 2009

April 7th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Fiji - April 5th, 2009

Fiji - April 5th, 2009

Close-up

Close-up

Fiji, officially the Republic of the Fiji Islands, is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. It is east of Vanuatu, west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu.

The country occupies an archipelago of about 322 islands, of which 106 are permanently inhabited, 522 islets, and coral reefs, all of which can be seen in the close-up. The two major islands, Viti Levu (below), where the capital city Suva is located, and Vanua Levu (above), account for 87% of the population.

Fiji covers a total area of some 194 000 square kilometres of which around 10% is land. The 180° meridian runs through Taveuni but the International Dateline is bent conviniently to give uniform time to all of the Fiji group.

The islands are mountainous, with peaks up to 1,300 metres (4,250 ft), and covered with thick tropical forests. The climate in Fiji is tropical and warm most of the year round.