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Tropical Storm Daphne (18P) Located West-Southwest of Fiji

28.6S 178.6W

April 3rd, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Daphne (18P) - April 2nd, 2012

Tropical Storm Daphne (18P) - April 2nd, 2012

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Track of Tropical Storm Daphne (18P) - April 2nd, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 18P

On April 2 at 0300 UTC (April 1, 11 p.m. EDT), Tropical Storm Daphne had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/64 kph). Those tropical-storm-force winds extend as far as 200 nautical miles (230 miles/370 km) from the center, making Daphne a good-sized storm, more than 400 nautical miles (460 miles/741 km) in diameter.

Daphne’s center was located about 340 nautical miles (391 miles/630 km) west-southwest of Suva, Fiji, near 19.8 South and 172.7 East. Daphne was moving to the east-southeast near 18 knots (20.7 mph/ 33.3 kph). Forecasters expect Daphne to continue moving to the east-southeast and maintain strength over the next day or two.

Tropical Cyclone René (15P) Situated South-Southeast of Fiji

28.4S 176.4W

February 17th, 2010 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone René (15P) - February 15th, 2010

Tropical Cyclone René (15P) - February 15th, 2010

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Track of TC 15P - February 16th, 2010 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 15P

Tropical Cyclone René (15P), located approximately 440 nautical miles south-southeast of Nadi, Fiji, has tracked west-southwestward at 16 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 24 feet.

Animated multispectral satellite imagery shows a fully exposed low level circulation center (LLCC) with deep convection sheared to the south of the storm. Though Dvorak estimates indicate the system may only be
35 knots, the current intensity of 45 knots is based the principle that the system will wind down slower than the convection dissipates.

TC René is now tracking over unfavorably cool waters while an upper-level low to the northwest is suppressing convection. TC 15P will continue to track generally southwestward as it approaches the axis of the subtropical steering ridge over the next 24 to 36 hours. At the same time, René will gradually dissipate as a significant tropical cyclone due to hostile vertical wind shear and cold sea surface temperatures.

Tropical Cyclone Bune (19P) Shows Persistent Deep Convection – March 27th, 2011

March 27th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone Bune (19P) - March 25th, 2011

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Track of TC 19P

Tropical Cyclone Bune 19P, located approximately 345 nm south-southeast of Nadi, Fiji, has drifted southwestward at 01 knot over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 24 feet.

Animated multispectral satellite imagery shows persistent deep convection during the past 12 hours. Position confidence is high based on a 27 nm ragged eye appearing at 26/0532z in infrared satellite imagery. A 26/0629z SSMIS 37 ghz microwave image verifies this position as well.

Initial intensity is based on PGTW and PHFO Dvorak estimates of 65 knots. Water vapor imagery indicates radial outflow, and upper level analysis places the system just east of a weak upper level ridge which is ahead of a
much stronger trough.

TC 19P is in a weak steering environment and moving slowly southwestward along the western periphery of a subtropical ridge (STR). The strong mid-latitude trough approaching from the west will begin to erode the STR and result in the system tracking more southward during the next 12-24 hours.

After TAU 36, TC Bune is expected to track southeastward and then begin extratropical transition by TAU 48. As the system continues to turn southeastward ahead of the trough, increased vertical wind shear and decreased sea surface temperatures will cause the system to weaken slightly prior to completing extratropical transition near TAU 72.

Tropical Cyclone 19P Tracks Southwest

24.7S 173.1E

March 24th, 2011 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone 19P - March 22nd, 2011

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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.

Tropical Cyclone Ului (20P) Expected to Make Landfall in Queensland, Australia

14.6S 152.5E

March 19th, 2010 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone Ului (20P) - March 16th, 2010

Tropical Cyclone Ului (20P) - March 16th, 2010

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Track of TC 20P - March 18th, 2010 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 20P

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului (20P) is one of the fastest intensifying tropical cyclones on record, strengthening from a tropical storm to a Category 5 equivalent cyclone within a 24 hour span.

Between 13 and 14 March, Cyclone Ului underwent an unusually explosive phase of rapid intensification. During a 24 hour span, the system intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 5 equivalent cyclone, tying Hurricane Wilma in 2005 for the fastest intensification of a system from tropical storm to Category 5.

According to the JTWC, maximum sustained winds increased from 100 km/h (65 mph) to 260 km/h (160 mph). They also estimated that the storm’s minimal central pressure had decreased from 982 mbar (hPa) to 918 mbar (hPa), a drop of 64 mbar (hPa), during this span.

Ului was first identified by the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) late on 9 March roughly 130 kilometres (80 miles) north of Hiw Island, Vanuatu. At this time, the system was classified as Tropical Disturbance 13F.

Early the following day, the system became sufficiently organized for the FMS to upgrade the disturbance to a tropical depression. Several hours later, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) also began monitoring the system. By this time, deep convection had developed around a low-level circulation and banding features had formed. A slow westward movement was expected as the depression was situated north of a subtropical ridge.

On 12 March, 13F was upgraded to Tropical Cyclone Ului. By early on 13 March, it was a category 2 cyclone. Later that day, Ului strengthened into a category 3, making it a severe tropical cyclone. The storm continued to strengthen throughout the day and that night it became a category 5.

Ului became the first category 5 South Pacific cyclone since Severe Tropical Cyclone Percy in February of 2005 but weakened to category 4 about the time it crossed the 160°E meridian. The system was predicted to restrengthen back into a category 5 as it moved away from an upper level low and Severe Tropical Cyclone Tomas, however 20P remained as a category 4 and had weakened to a category 3 system in the early hours of 18 March but is expected to restrengthen.

As a Category 5 cyclone, Ului passed through the southern Solomon Islands, causing severe damage on the islands of Rennell, Guadalcanal as well as Bellona province. Large swells produced by the storm washed away several homes along coastal areas. Flooding was also reported on several islands; however, officials confirmed that no fatalities resulted from the storm.

Maximum winds on the affected islands reached 120 km/h (75 km/h). On Rennell Island, initial reports stated that at least ten homes had been severely damaged or destroyed in several villages. Light to moderate damage was sustained on Makira and Guadalcanal, with at least two homes sustaining damage.

Unconfirmed reports of a large wave inundating several villages, washing away homes and overturning large boulders came from east Makira around 4:00 pm local time. Another village on the western side of Makira was reportedly inundated roughly five hours later. Later damage assessments made on Makira Island confirmed at least 13 homes were destroyed and several more were damaged. The most severe damage took place in Woau village where ten homes were destroyed.

After Cyclone Ului passed through the Solomon Islands, officials in Queensland, Australia began warning residents about the possibility of the storm making landfall in the region. Large swells produced by the system prompted lifeguards to close large areas of public beaches. These swells were anticipated to be the largest experienced along the Queensland coastline in the past decade and emergency management officials warned residents living along coastal areas that the waves would likely inundate low-lying regions.

On 18 March, new forecasts of the future track of Ului indicated that it would make landfall in Queensland. As a result, officials evacuated roughly 300 people from the islands of Heron and Lady Elliot, situated about 1,000 km (620 mi) off the Australian mainland. Residents along the Sunshine Coast were advised to prepare their homes for a possible Category 4 cyclone and stock up on non-perishable foods.

Later on 18 March, the Bureau of Meteorology is expecting that the cyclone will cross or near the Queensland coast, between Cardwell and Mackay, on 21 March as a category 3 cyclone. Several ports along the Queensland coastline were shut down for several days as large waves impacted the region. Transportation of coal and other raw materials was halted in these areas as well.