Gita moves off, but bad weather stays

Monday February 12, 2018 Written by Published in Weather
The scene outside Trader Jack’s on Sunday morning. 18021116 The scene outside Trader Jack’s on Sunday morning. 18021116

The intensifying Tropical Cyclone Gita which was yesterday classed a category four cyclone is moving away from the Cook Islands.

 

However the Cook Islands Meteorological Services says adverse weather conditions which include occasional rain, strong winds and rough seas will remain in force for the southern and northern group islands.

TC Gita will also cause a storm surge along Rarotonga’s coast and on other islands.

Metrological officer Bouchard Solomona said the cyclone, which was gaining strength, was moving towards Tonga.

“There is no direct effect on us from this cyclone but we are likely to continue with the weather we have been lately experiencing,” Solomona said.

“For coastal areas, there are chances of storm surge during high tide, so people living along the coastal areas are asked to take caution.” Solomona said the gloomy weather would persist until TC Gita moved further away from the Cook Islands.

TC Gita was a lesser category one cyclone when it passed over Samoa on Friday. It caused widespread flooding and loss of electricity in Samoa.

Tonga has declared a state of emergency as it prepares to be battered by the cyclone, which was earlier forecast to make landfall in the early hours of the morning.

TC Gita’s track map yesterday suggested it would pass close to the main Tongan island of Tongatapu.

MetService tropical cyclone forecaster Micky Malivuk told Stuff, Gita had the potential to grow to a category five cyclone, but that was not expected to happen until later on Tuesday into Wednesday, when it would be on its way out from southern Fiji and on towards the south of New Caledonia.

“If you’re just a little bit away from the centre, that’s where the strongest winds are,” Malivuk told Stuff.

Gita was starting to form an eye and Malivuk said, “It just implies it’s becoming a very intense storm when you have an eye forming”.

Average wind speeds close to the centre were expected to be over 200kmh by late last night.

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