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A new tropical wave – Invest #93P – has developed near Vanuatu and could potentially become a dangerous tropical cyclone heading towards Fiji

South Pacific tropical activity returns with a new wave, named #93P. Currently, Invest #93P is still poorly organized, having maximum sustained winds of 20 knots and central pressure around 997 mbar. But it is, however, gradually strengthening and expanding its intense convective activity since Sunday. The system was located at 13.1°S 170.1°E as of 18 UTC today, Jan 14th. Models are trending it will travel towards the southeast and intensify in the coming days, passing very near the Fiji archipelago and could potentially develop into a dangerous tropical cyclone.

Both Visible and Infrared satellite imagery are indicating explosive storms developing around the tropical wave / Invest #93P, the virtual center of this activity is located to the northeast of Vanuatu, gradually expanding and very slowly drifting southeast towards Fiji archipelago. Upper-level outflow is impressive, definitely hinting this widespread activity has an increasing potential to develop a tropical cyclone in the coming days. Cloud tops are very high, penetrating into heights below -80 °C.

The potential tropical cyclone will travel very near or right across the Fiji archipelago while strengthening. It is still to far in advance to get the precise picture of its intensity, but trends are there it could become a dangerous tropical system this weekend.

Here is the ECMWF model guidance for wind gusts and rainfall accumulation along #93P’s track through the next 5 days. We can see it would be passing very near Fiji archipelago as a Category 1 tropical cyclone. Trends are there, but we are awaiting further model guidance to confirm its intensity and track.

We are closely monitoring the #93P’s evolution and will keep you updated with all details – stay tuned!

The last intense cyclone which passed with its center very near the Fiji archipelago, producing severe damage on the islands, was Tropical Cyclone #Sarai soon after Christmas day:

Tropical Cyclone #SARAI brushing the main Fiji island Viti Levu and is now a Category 2 Tropical Cyclone

Lately, there was a Severe Tropical Cyclone #Claudia ongoing northwest of Australia:

Severe Tropical Cyclone #CLAUDIA has intensified into a borderline Category 4 cyclone, producing 80-knot winds and near 970 mbar northwest of Australia