Samoa braced for storm

By Soli Wilson 21 February 2020, 9:47AM

The heavy rain and damaging winds currently buffeting Samoa are a result of Tropical Depression 09F (TD09F).

The Samoa Meteorology Division updates states that the system is expected to move southeast to the south of American Samoa and may develop into a Category 1 tropical cyclone in the afternoon.

But it remains classified as a tropical depression in Samoa.

The potential to upgrade the weather system a cyclone is classified as moderate; it may happen within 12-24 hours.

Samoa should expect periods of heavy rain, damaging gusty winds and heavy swells for Friday morning.

A category 1 cyclone has mean winds of 34-47 knots (39–54 miles per hour) with a central pressure greater than 985 hPa.

In Fiji the system is listed as a tropical low.

A Fiji MET Office warning confirms the south easterly movement of the system towards Niue.

Should the system upgrade into a tropical cyclone, it shall be named Cyclone Vicky.

Although this will not be the end of Samoa’s experience with low pressure systems bringing heavy rain and wind over the country.

The Samoa MET Office stated that another low pressure system was analysed early this morning to the south east of Tuvalu, and they predict that it will visit Samoa as well.

It is predicted to move near the islands Friday evening with slight development may bring similar weather conditions.

The public are advised to expect and prepare for heavy downpours with poor visibility, strong and gusty winds with flying objects, foggy and slippery roads over mountain passes and ranges, strong river outflows and landslides and pooling near roadsides and waterways.

Strong damaging winds may also uproot breakable trees, or give rise to strong currents, rough seas and coastal inundation. People are advised to keep clear of the sea. 

By Soli Wilson 21 February 2020, 9:47AM

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