A significant weather system has developed north-west of Vanuatu and is moving south-east towards New Caledonia and Fiji.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, placed the system near 12.05 South 164.0 East or 716 kilometres north-west of Port Vila, Vanuatu, early today.
Current models show the system has low to moderate chances of developing into a cyclone over the next 24-48 hours.
Neither Vanuatu nor Fiji have issued alerts at this stage but meteorological services in both countries continue to monitor the system which is moving at 28 kilometres per hour.
On its current track and at this speed, the system should begin to impact Vanuatu with heavy rain around noon today (Tuesday).
By Netani Rika
ALL eyes are on a trough of low pressure between Vanuatu and Fiji as the Easter long weekend approaches.
Most of Northern Fiji - including Vanua Levu, Taveuni and associated smaller islands along with parts of Lau – were issued heavy rain warnings on Monday.
Today the warning has been extended to the northern parts of the Yasawa Group and the main island, Viti Levu.
Fiji’s National Weather Forecasting Centre predicts rain, occasional thunderstorms and persistent overnight rainfall over the next 24-48 hours with flash flooding in low-lying and coastal areas.
The rain has been caused by a weak low pressure system between Nadi and Vila.
Commercial weather station, Na Draki, has warned that the low pressure system will slowly strengthen and likely form a Tropical Depression some time on Friday or Saturday.
“Whether or not it does strengthen, it is evident that rain will continue heavy at times through to Monday with widespread flooding of low lying areas,” Na Draki reported.
“There is likely to be some significant river flooding about the main islands later in the weekend.”
Members of the public have been advised to make preparations ahead of the weekend when most shops will be closed for extended periods.
They have also been warned to listen to the radio for regular updates.
Special weather bulletin number twelve for fiji on heavy rain issued from the national weather forecasting centre, nadi at 10:30am on wednesday 28th march 2018.
Heavy rain warning remains in force for vanua levu, taveuni and nearby smaller islands, northern lau group, northern viti levu, yasawa and mamanuca group.
Heavy rain alert remains in force for the rest of fiji.
A trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain remain slow moving over the group.
For vanua levu, taveuni and nearby smaller islands, northern lau group, northern viti levu, yasawa and mamanuca group:
Occasional rain. Rain expected to become frequent and heavy with squally thunderstorms from afternoon.
Localised heavy falls may lead to flash flooding of low lying areas.
For the rest of fiji:
Occasional showers, possibly heavy at times and isolated thunderstorms. Showers possibly increasing to rain and becoming frequent from later today.
Isolated heavy falls expected.
The next special weather bulletin will be issued issued around 01.30 pm or earlier.