At 1am this morning, Tropical Depression TD03F was named Sarai.
TC Sarai Category 1 with central pressure 995hpa was analysed approximately 240km to the northwest of Yasawa-i-Rara at 3am.
TC Sarai is moving southwards at 35km/hr and is expected to continue on this path for the next 18 to 24 hours before turning south-eastwards and head for Kadavu later tomorrow.
TC Sarai is expected to pass to the west of Yasawa-i-Rara at 1pm today while still a Cat 1 system (approximately winds of 70km/hr winds close to its centre) and is expected to intensify into a Cat 2 system (approximately winds of 100km/hr close its centre) and pass just southwest of Nadi at 1am tomorrow morning.
Threat for Fiji:
The rainbands associated with the system have already come over the group and affected the country as of yesterday. As the system moves closer to Fiji, expect northerly winds to pick up and reach damaging gale force (approximately 65km/hr with gusts to 90km/hr) over Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Yasawa and Mamanuca group, Kadavu, Lomaiviti group, Viti Levu and nearby smaller islands from this morning.
The rest of Fiji can expect east to northeasterly winds with average speeds of 45km/hr and gusts to 80km/hr.
Rain is anticipated to become frequent and heavy with squally thunderstorms whereby localised heavy rain may lead to flash flooding of low lying areas. Coastal flooding to be expected when the cyclone centre passes by.
Very rough to high seas with damaging heavy northerly swells.