Cyclone brewing east of Vanuatu could form by Tuesday [updated]

Satellite image of TD14F. Image: JWTC

Update, 4/4/2016 4pm: Vanuatu Meteorological Services reports that the two tropical lows no longer represent a threat to Vanuatu.

A tropical low currently located offshore from Gaua has the potential to become a cyclone by Tuesday 5 April, Pacific region meteorologists are warning. Vanuatu, Fiji and NZ meteorologists have named this Tropical Disturbance (TD) 14F, while the US meteorologists are calling the system 96P Invest.

Vanuatu Meteorological Services advises that the chance of TD14F forming into a cyclone by Tuesday is between 40% and 100% likely. In the meantime, the low will bring strong thunderstorms, heavy rain, flash flooding on land and strong winds to Vanuatu.

As shown below, global computer weather models vary in their predictions for the potential cyclone’s route, with some models placing it over Vanuatu’s northern islands within 48 hours. However most models are predicting that by the time the low transforms into a cyclone, it will be closer to Fiji than Vanuatu.

Global computer models for TD14F. Image: tropicaltidbits.com

The good news: Fiji’s Na Draki weather service says that “the winds of this system will in no way be comparable” to February’s Cyclone Winston.

The bad news: another tropical low is also forming west of Santo:

Satellite image of TD14F and other tropical low. Photo: nadraki.com