A tropical storm warning was upgraded to a warm and humid cyclone warning in the Northern Cook Islands on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, there has been a tropical disturbance hovering over the Northern Cook Islands for a few days, which now has been upgraded to a tropical cyclone named Victor.
Cyclone Victor is considered a Category 2 twister at this time. It is moving southwest at 9 km an hour. It is predicted that close to the center of the twister, winds are moving at 92 km an hour.
Forecasters have predicted that Manihiki, Rakahanga, Pukapuka, Nassau, and Suwarrow will experience winds with speeds ranging from 64 km to 92 km an hour. Damage is expected to come with these forces. It is highly possible that low areas will have moderate flooding, as a significant rise in sea level is expected.
Other parts of the Northern Cook Islands will have strong winds with speeds of 46 km to 74 km an hour. There will also be heavy rains and thunderstorm squalls.
Jan. 16, 2016, Update: NASA has reported that the Southern Pacific Ocean is warming, which is allowing Tropical Cyclone Victor to gain more speed in the Cook Islands. There is a gale warning in effect for Rakahanga, Minihiki, Nassau, Suwarrow, and Pukapuka. Victor has been moving southward at five knots with gusts of up to 90 knots. It is now considered by the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale to be a Category 1 Hurricane. NASA believes Victor will continue to intensify within the next few days and should peak at 115 knots.
Guardian Liberty Voice will continue to report updates throughout the storm’s course.
By Jeanette Smith
Radio New Zealand News: Cyclone warning issued for Northern Cooks
Image Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Photostream’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License