Arona Ngari, the director of the Cook Islands Meteorological Service, said Tropical Depression 07F (TD07F) was located between Samoa and Fiji and slowly moving in a south-east direction towards the Cook Islands.
As of yesterday, the tropical depression was moving at the speed of 25 knots close to its centre.
Ngari said the system could upgrade into a cyclone by today.
“The chances of the system upgrading into a cyclone is moderate to high and it will be decided in the next 12 hours,” he said yesterday.
“There is also a cloud band associated with the system which will bring some rain in the coming days.”
Ngari said the projection map of the depression show the cyclone, if it forms, could head towards west of the Cook Islands.
He said by Monday the country would experience strong northerly winds and high seas.
“At the stage, the model doesn’t show that the cyclone, if it’s formed, will directly affect us and we are monitoring the situation and keeping a close tab on the progress.”
Cook Islands is expected to face two to three named cyclones in this cyclone season which is from November to April.
In a statement released in October, the New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said the Southern Cook Islands may experience two to three named cyclones, which is higher than average for the islands. For the Northern Cook Islands, zero to one cyclones have been projected.
The forecasters have indicated that another seven to 11 named tropical cyclones (TC) could occur in the Southwest Pacific basin this coming cyclone season following the very early TC Liua that formed in September this year.
February to April are normally regarded the active months for cyclones in the region.
- Rashneel Kumar