TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING

 A GALE WARNING IS IN FORCE FOR VATOA AND ONO-I-LAU.

A STRONG WIND WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR THE REST OF THE LAU AND LOMAIVITI GROUP.

A HEAVY RAIN WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR THE LAU AND LOMAIVITI GROUP.

 TROPICAL CYCLONE POLA CENTRE 988HPA CATEGORY 2 WAS LOCATED NEAR 18.7 SOUTH 176.4 WEST OR ABOUT 260 KILOMETRES EAST-SOUTHEAST  OF LAKEBA  AND 330 KILOMETRES NORTHEAST OF ONO-I-LAU  AT 8am TODAY. CLOSE TO ITS CENTRE THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO HAVE AVERAGE WINDS UP TO 95 KM/HR WITH MOMENTARY GUSTS TO 130 KM/HR.

THE AVERAGE WINDS CLOSE TO ITS CENTRE ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE TO 120 KM/HR WITH MOMENTARY GUSTS TO 165 KM/HR BY 8am TOMORROW. THE CYCLONE IS MOVING SOUTH AT ABOUT 30 KM/HR.

 THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO MOVE TOWARDS SOUTH-SOUTHWEST  AT 20KM/HR , AND THE CENTRE SHOULD PASS CLOSE TO ONO-I-LAU OVERNIGHT TONIGHT.

 ON THIS TRACK, THE CYCLONE CENTRE IS EXPECTED TO BE LOCATED ABOUT 120 KILOMETERS EAST-NORTHEAST  OF ONO-I-LAU  AT 8pm TONIGHT, AND ABOUT 140 KILOMETRES SOUTHSOUTHEAST  OF ONO-I-LAU  AT 8am TOMORROW MORNING.

 FOR VATOA AND ONO-I-LAU:

EXPECT DAMAGING GALE FORCE WINDS WITH AVERAGE SPEEDS UP TO 65 KM/HR AND MOMENTARY GUSTS TO 90 KM/HR. PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN AND SQUALLY THUNDERSTORMS.

HIGH SEAS. DAMAGING HEAVY SWELLS. SEA FLOODING OF LOW-LYING COASTAL AREAS EXPECTED.

 FOR THE REST OF THE LAU AND LOMAIVITI GROUP:

FRESH TO STRONG SOUTHERLY  WINDS WITH SPEED OF 45 TO 55 KM/HR, GUSTING TO 80 KM/HR. PERIODS OF RAIN, HEAVY AT TIMES AND A FEW THUNDERSTORMS.  ROUGH TO VERY ROUGH SEAS. MODERATE TO HEAVY SWELLS.

 FOR THE REST OF FIJI

CLOUDY PERIODS WITH OCCASIONAL SHOWERS AND POSSIBLE THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE EASTERN PARTS OF THE LARGER ISLANDS. ELSEWHERE, FINE APART FROM AFTEROON OR EVENING SHOWERS. MODERATE TO FRESH SOUTHERLY WINDS.

 The following information is provided especially for the mariners:

FOR SOUTHERN LAU WATERS: EXPECT GALE FORCE WINDS UP TO 45 KNOTS, GUSTING TO 65 KNOTS  WITH HIGH SEAS.

FOR KORO SEA AND NORTHERN LAU WATERS: SOUTHERLY WINDS 20 TO 30 KNOTS, GUSTING TO

40 KNOTS. ROUGH TO VERY ROUGH SEAS.

FOR THE REST OF FIJI WATERS: SOUTHERLY WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. MODERATE TO ROUGH SEAS.

 THE NEXT SPECIAL WEATHER BULLETIN FOR FIJI ON TC POLA WILL BE ISSUED AT 12.30PM TODAY OR EARLIER.

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