Unconventional cloud structure is causing havoc among meteorologists in monitoring and tracking Tropical Cyclone Mona which has been hovering northwest of Fiji in recent days.
Weather app Windy has been showing a loose, weakened and poorly organised cloud structure, and the absence of a clear core or eye of the storm since late last night.
More than 12 hours ago, Suva-based private weather service Nadraki posted on its Facebook page that for “a purportedly category 2 tropical cyclone, TC Mona is looking almost dead, with little convection to be seen near the centre and a very ragged cloud signature.”
Because of this, Nadraki said it would be “difficult to locate it with any precision and nearly impossible to determine its current movement.”
Only a short time ago did the Fiji Meteorological Service revise its cyclone forecast reports by confirming that TC Mona has reduced strength overnight and it is now back as a Category One cyclone, and not Two as it had announced yesterday.
In its latest weather bulletin released at 1330 Fiji Time today, the Fiji Met Service says a tropical cyclone warning is still enforced for islands in Fiji’s northwest, including the western regions of Vanua Levu in northern Fiji.
While different weather forecasting services and computer models have different versions of the strength and speed of TC Mona, they all agree that the storm will bring with it a lot of rain and that it would make landfall in Fiji either late Sunday or Monday.
In their most recent rainfall map, the Fiji Met Service says eastern Fiji, specifically on the two Lau islands of Lakeba and Vanuabalavu recorded the most rainfall of 159mm and 107mm respectively over the last 24 hours to today, 5 December. Monasavu in the centre of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu and Navua on Viti Levu’s east coast also recorded over 100mm of rain.
Fiji Met and other weather models are predicting more rain in the next 48 hours. Several roads in Fiji’s north, central and western regions were reported to have been flooded overnight, but most have been cleared for all traffic later today.
These weather services differ though on the likely path TC Mona is going to take as it continues its slow track down south, and where and when exactly it is going to make landfall in Fiji.
Fiji Met is predicting this won’t happen until early on Monday and Mona will probably hit land on the west coast of Vanua Levu, in Fiji’s north.
Nadraki on the other hand quotes the US military warning centre in that TC Mona will most likely hit the northern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island early Monday.
Whatever path the now Category One cyclone will take, Nadraki is urging Fiji to be prepared and to heed the warnings from Fijian disaster management authorities.