Vanuatu daily news Digest | A PACNEWS look at the weather

PAC – CYCLONE WARNING: ABC PACNEWS 3: Wed 11 Mar 2015

Pacific nations on alert as storm intensifies to category three system

SUVA, 11 MARCH 2015 (ABC) — Tropical Cyclone Pam has been upgraded to a category three system and

is moving south of Solomon Islands to waters between Vanuatu and Fiji.

The cyclone is predicted to increase in strength, possibly as high as category five, by the end of the week.

Fiji’s Na Draki weather service said Cyclone Pam might intensify into a category four system by the end of

Wednesday and was likely to pass just to the east of Vanuatu on Friday.

“As it passes the latitude of Port Vila on Friday, it could be at its peak intensity then,” said Na Draki

meteorologist Neville Koop.

“Fortunately though the eastern side of the cyclone tends to be the most violent and with the strongest

winds, and most of Vanuatu will stay in the western hemisphere of this event.

“So it might not be quite so bad, but it’s certainly going to be nasty over the next 48 hours or so.”

The Vanuatu Meteorological Service forecast gale-force winds for the next two days.

Heavy rainfall was expected throughout northern Vanuatu, with flooding and flash flooding expected over

low-lying areas.

A strong wind warning is current for all open waters off Vanuatu.

Shipping vessels have been ordered to stay in port, while residents in Fiji have been urged not to head out

to sea this week.

A tropical cyclone warning is in place in Solomon Islands, where residents in the eastern parts of the country

have been told to expect heavy rain, gale-force winds and high seas.

The Pacific is also expected to be impacted by Cyclone Nathan, which formed in the Coral Sea about

midnight (AEST) and is tracking south-west.

Koop said he was not expecting cyclones Nathan and Pam to merge.

“The spinning circulations of both [cyclones] do kind of repel each other and they behave in a way where

the centre of mass revolves around a common central point,” he said.

“So what’s going to happen for the next few days is that the centre of Nathan will move slightly north and

west towards Queensland, and as Pam moves away it’ll go north and then back towards the east.

“Some of the computer models put the centre of Nathan very close to between Vanuatu and New

Caledonia and Fiji around the end of next week.”

Koop said computers forecasts were predicting another system developing between Fiji and Tonga in the

coming weeks…..PACNEWS