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Tropical Storm Freda (05P) South-Southeast of Solomon Islands

19.9S 159.1E

December 29th, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm 05P – December 27th, 2012

Enhanced image

Track of Tropical Storm 05P - December 27th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 05P

On December 26, RSMC Nadi started to monitor a tropical disturbance that had developed about 1075 km (670 mi) to the north of Port Vila, Vanuatu. During that day, the disturbance moved westwards and developed into a tropical depression.

Now known as Tropical Storm Freda (05P), the system is currently located approximately 75 nm south-southeast of Honiara, Solomon Islands. It has tracked west-southwestward at 08 knots over the past six hours and has reached the warning threshold intensity of 35 knots during the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 10 feet.

TC 05P is tracking west-southwestward along the periphery of a subtropical ridge centered to the southeast of the cyclone. The system is expected to turn poleward over the next 24 hours as it rounds the ridge and tracks toward the base of a mid-latitude trough extending across eastern Australia. Generally poleward motion is expected to continue throughout the forecast period as the system continues to track along the western periphery of the current steering ridge.

Low vertical wind shear, favorable poleward and equatorward outflow, and passage over warm water will support steady intensification through TAU 72. Thereafter, increasing vertical wind shear and passage over cooler water will weaken the system.

The numerical models are in poor agreement regarding the exact track of TC 05P, with the GFS and GFDN showing a steady recurvature into the mid-latitude westerlies, NOGAPS showing a slower poleward track followed by recurvature late in the forecast period, and the UKMET and ECMWF showing the cyclone meandering poleward within the deep tropics.
It does not appear at this point that any developing mid-latitude trough will be deep enough or extend far enough equatorward to induce full recurvature during the forecast period. Therefore, the current forecast calls for a steady poleward track followed by a southeastward turn between TAU 96 and TAU 120. This forecast lies close to the multi-model consensus and is generally in line with the ECMWF forecast scenario.

Emission of Steam or Sulphurous Gas from Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

16.2S 168.1E

December 23rd, 2012 Category: Volcanoes

Vanuatu – December 11th, 2012

Ambrym Island is a volcanic island in the archipelago of Vanuatu (formerly known as the New Hebrides).  Located near the center of the long Vanuatuan archipelago (here, the second large island from the bottom in the row of islands lined up parallel to the right edge), Ambryn is roughly triangular in shape, about 50 km (31 mi) wide.

The island is well known for its highly active volcanic activity. Here, although it is mostly covered by clouds, a plume of steam or sulfurous gas can be seen blowing northward from it. Such plumes are frequently emitted by Ambrym’s active lava lakes within its caldera.

Espiritu Santo, the Largest Island of Vanuatu

15.3S 166.9E

March 4th, 2011 Category: Mountains

Vanuatu - January 16th, 2011

Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.

The Vanuatu island archipelago consists of approximately 82 relatively small, geologically newer islands of volcanic origin (65 of them inhabited), with about 800 miles (1,300 km) north to south distance between the outermost islands.

This image focuses on the largest island, Espiritu Santo, with an area of 3955.5 km². Vanuatu’s highest peak is the 1879 metre (6165 foot) Mount Tabwemasana in west-central Espiritu Santo.

Pacific Ocean Area of Convection Continues

February 3rd, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Area of convection, Pacific Ocean - February 3rd, 2009

Area of convection, Pacific Ocean - February 3rd, 2009

An area of convection has persisted near 13.1S 161.6E, approximately 475 nautical miles northwest of Port-Vila, Vanuatu.

Recent animated multispectral satellite imagery shows deep convection persisting along the northern periphery of a meridionally-elongated low level circulation center (LLCC).

The LLCC lies equatorward of an upper-level anticyclone axis, in an area of strong northward diffluence aloft but moderate vertical windshear.

However, this shear may decrease as the LLCC continues to move poleward toward the upper ridge axis over the next day or two.

Maximum sustained surface winds are estimated at 20 to 25 knots.

Minimum sea level pressure is estimated to be near 1003mb.

Because the LLCC is broad and vertical wind shear higher than optimal, the potential for the develpoment of a significant tropical cyclone within thte next 24 hours is poor.

source JTWC

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