Update Friday 13th March at 7:00pm

FRANCES RUSSELL, METSERVICE METEOROLOGIST

Satellite picture for the Tropics at 7pm NZDT 13th March Satellite picture for the Tropics at 7pm NZDT 13th March

 

Confidence continues to grow in the projected path for Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam. There is currently a Severe weather watch in force, http://www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-watch. Watches and Warnings will continue to be added and updated on our website and this is the first place that they will appear. Meanwhile, The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management are encouraging those in possibly affected areas to head on over to http://getthru.govt.nz/disasters/storms/ for more information.

What can we expect as TC Pam moves towards New Zealand?

The forecast shows TC Pam is expected to decay to Category 4 once it moves south of New Caledonia, but models show it will have remarkable persistence as it travels on towards New Zealand. MetService has issued a Severe Weather Watch for northern and eastern parts of the North Island. This covers the period when the storm tracks to the east of the North Island during Monday and Tuesday and highlights the risk of severe gales and heavy rain and large seas. Large waves, as well as storm surge, are likely to have a significant effect as the cyclone passes by New Zealand. Very large, long period waves are likely from Cape Reinga to East Cape on Sunday and Monday, extending south to include Gisborne to the Kaikoura Coast on Monday and Tuesday. Waves of this size have significant potential for coastal erosion, especially combined with gales and storm surge.

How is TC Pam affecting the Pacific right now?

TC Pam is currently Category 5 located 120km northnortheast of Port Vila and 100km eastsoutheast of Lamp, Vanuatu, tracking southsouthwest over Vanuatu, where a Tropical Cyclone Warning is in place for destructive winds, torrential rain and phenomenal seas today and Saturday morning before things ease. The red rings around TC Pam indicate areas of destructive storm force winds and very destructive hurricane force winds. Wind speeds near the centre are currently 240km/h and the area of gales around the storm extends out greater than 300km. In the last 6 hours from 1pm Pekoa Aiport on the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu recorded 107 mm of rainfall.

The latest forecast track map from RSMC Fiji, 1423 NZDT  Friday 13 March 2015. The latest forecast track map from RSMC Fiji, 1423 NZDT Friday 13 March 2015.

 

The next update to this blog will be around 6am Saturday 14 March. [end]

Update Friday 13th March at 1:00pm

ROB KERR, METSERVICE METEOROLOGIST

Satellite picture for the Tropics at 1pm NZDT 13th March Satellite picture for the Tropics at 1pm NZDT 13th March

 

Confidence continues to grow in the projected path for Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam and MetService has issued a Severe Weather Watch for northern and eastern parts of the North Island. This covers the period when the storm tracks to the east of the North Island during Monday and Tuesday and highlights the risk of severe gales and heavy rain. Watches and Warnings will continue to be added and updated on our warnings page and this is the first place that they will appear (you can sign up here to receive them by email, another great way to stay right up to date). Meanwhile, The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management are encouraging those in possibly affected areas to head on over to http://getthru.govt.nz/disasters/storms/ for more information.

What can we expect as TC Pam moves towards New Zealand?

The forecast shows TC Pam is expected to decay to Category 4 once it moves south of New Caledonia, but models show it will have remarkable persistence as it travels on towards New Zealand. These two images show the output from the various models for 1pm Monday afternoon and 1am Tuesday morning. 1pm Monday:

An updated selection of different global models showing mean sea level pressure for 1pm NZDT on Monday 16th March. Pressures lower than 1000hPa have been coloured blue. An updated selection of different global models showing mean sea level pressure for 1pm NZDT on Monday 16th March. Pressures lower than 1000hPa have been coloured blue.

 

1am Tuesday:

An updated selection of different global models showing mean sea level pressure for 1am NZDT on Tuesday 17th March. Pressures lower than 1000hPa have been coloured blue. An updated selection of different global models showing mean sea level pressure for 1am NZDT on Tuesday 17th March. Pressures lower than 1000hPa have been coloured blue.

 

Whilst there is still a little variation in the timing of its passage, the path of the storm shows excellent consistency across all these models.

How is TC Pam affecting the Pacific right now?

Meanwhile, TC Pam is currently tracking southwards and affecting Vanuatu, where a Tropical Cyclone Warning is in place for destructive winds, torrential rain and phenomenal seas today and Saturday morning before things ease. The red rings around TC Pam indicate areas of destructive storm force winds and very destructive hurricane force winds. Wind speeds near the centre are currently 220km/h and the area of gales around the storm extends out 300km.

The latest forecast track Map from RSMC Fiji, issued at 8:24am Friday Morning The latest forecast track Map from RSMC Fiji, issued at 8:24am Friday Morning

 

Large waves, as well as storm surge, are likely to have a significant effect as the cyclone passes by New Zealand. Very large, long period, waves are likely from Cape Reinga to East Cape on Sunday and Monday, extending south to include Gisborne to the Kaikoura Coast Monday and Tuesday. Wave spectra for Whakatane and Gisborne respectively below. Note the very long period waves (14-18 seconds) and the size (4+m). The longer the wave period, the more energy is contained within these waves and the better they reflect around obstacles such as islands and headlands.

Wave spectra chart for Whakatane Wave spectra chart for Whakatane

 

Wave spectra chart for Gisborne Wave spectra chart for Gisborne

 

[end]

Update Friday 13th March at 8:30am

JOHN LAW, METSERVICE METEOROLOGIST

Satellite image for 7am NZDT 13th March 2015 Satellite image for 7am NZDT 13th March 2015

 

Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam, currently a Category 5 cyclone moves southwards across Vanuatu while TC Nathan, Category 2, lingers off the coast of Queensland and is forecast to return to the east across the Coral Sea. Just visible on this image is another tropical feature, this one is on the other side of the equator in the northern hemisphere. Tropical cyclone Bavi is forecast to move northwest over the next few days. Notice how the cloud wrapping into TC Pam is clockwise while in the north it is anticlockwise. The Meteorological service of Vanuatu have issued warnings for many parts of the county for gales, heavy rain and large swells.