2018–19 South Pacific cyclone season

Last updated
2018–19 South Pacific cyclone season
2018-2019 South Pacific cyclone season summary.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedSeptember 26, 2018
Last system dissipatedSeason ongoing
Strongest storm
NamePola
  Maximum winds165 km/h (105 mph)
(10-minute sustained)
  Lowest pressure950 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Total disturbances12, 1 unofficial
Total depressions9, 1 unofficial
Tropical cyclones5
Severe tropical cyclones2
Total fatalitiesNone
Total damage$1.43 million (2018 USD)
Related articles
South Pacific tropical cyclone seasons
2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20 , 2020–21

The 2018–19 South Pacific cyclone season is the period of the year when most tropical cyclones form within the South Pacific Ocean to the east of 160°E. The season officially runs from November 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019; however, a tropical cyclone could form at any time between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 and would count towards the season total. During the season, tropical cyclones will be officially monitored by the Fiji Meteorological Service, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and New Zealand's MetService. The United States Armed Forces through the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) also monitored the basin and issued warnings for American interests. RSMC Nadi attaches a number and an F suffix to tropical disturbances that form in or move into the basin, while the JTWC designates significant tropical cyclones with a number and a P suffix. The FMS, the BoM and MetService all use the Australian Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale and estimate wind speeds over a period of ten minutes, while the JTWC estimates sustained winds over a 1-minute period, which are subsequently compared to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS).

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) is a joint United States Navy – United States Air Force command located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The JTWC is responsible for the issuing of tropical cyclone warnings in the North-West Pacific Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, and Indian Ocean for all branches of the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies. Their warnings are intended for the protection of primarily military ships and aircraft as well as military installations jointly operated with other countries around the world.

Contents

Seasonal forecasts

Source/Record Tropical
Cyclone
Severe
Tropical Cyclone
Ref
Record high: 1997–98: 16 1982–83: 10 [1]
Record low: 2011–12:  3 2008–09:  0 [1] [2]
Average (1969-70 - 2017-18):7.1  [2]
NIWA October7-114 [3]
Fiji Meteorological Service7-92-4 [2]
RegionChance of
above average
Average
number
Actual
activity
Western South Pacific53%76
Eastern South Pacific43%44
Source:BOM's South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook. [4]

Ahead of the cyclone season formally starting, the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), New Zealand's MetService and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and various other Pacific Meteorological services, all contributed towards the Island Climate Update tropical cyclone outlook that was released during October 2018. [3] The outlook took into account the ENSO neutral conditions that had been observed across the Pacific and analogue seasons that had ENSO neutral and El Nino conditions occurring during the season. [3] The outlook called for a near-average number of tropical cyclones for the 2018–19 season, with seven to eleven named tropical cyclones, predicted to occur between 135°E and 120°W compared to an average of about 10. [3] At least three of the tropical cyclones were expected to intensify further and become severe tropical cyclones, while it was noted that a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone could occur during the season. [3]

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is an Executive Agency of the Australian Government responsible for providing weather services to Australia and surrounding areas. It was established in 1906 under the Meteorology Act, and brought together the state meteorological services that existed before then. The states officially transferred their weather recording responsibilities to the Bureau of Meteorology on 1 January 1908.

MetService meteorological service of New Zealand

Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited (MetService) was established as a state-owned enterprise in 1992. It employs about 250 staff and its headquarters are in Wellington, New Zealand. Prior to becoming an SOE, New Zealand's national meteorological service has existed in a number of forms since the appointment of the country's first Director of Meteorological Stations in August 1861.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research or NIWA, is a Crown Research Institute of New Zealand. Established in 1992, NIWA conducts commercial and non-commercial research across a broad range of disciplines in the environmental sciences. It also maintains nationally and, in some cases, internationally important environmental monitoring networks, databases, and collections.

In addition to contributing towards the Island Climate Update outlook, the FMS and the BoM issued their own seasonal forecasts for the South Pacific region. [2] [4] The BoM issued two seasonal forecasts for the Southern Pacific Ocean, for their self-defined eastern and western regions of the South Pacific Ocean. [4] They predicted that the Western region between 142.5°E and 165°E, had a 48% chance of seeing activity above its average of 7 tropical cyclones. The BoM also predicted that the Eastern Region between 165°E and 120°W, had a 55% chance of seeing activity above its average of 4 tropical cyclones. [4] Within their outlook the FMS predicted that between seven and nine tropical cyclones, would occur within the basin compared to an average of around 7.1 cyclones. [2] At least two of the tropical cyclones were expected to intensify further and become Category 3 or higher severe tropical cyclones. [2]

Both the Island Climate Update and the FMS tropical cyclone outlooks assessed the risk of a tropical cyclone affecting a certain island or territory. [2] [3] The Island Climate Update Outlook predicted that the Austral Islands, American Samoa, the Cook Islands and Samoa had an elevated chance, while the Northern Cook Islands had a normal to elevated chance of being impacted by a tropical cyclone. [3] They also predicted that Fiji, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, the Society and the Solomon Islands all had a near-normal risk of being impacted. [3] The outlook noted that Vanuatu and New Caledonia had a normal to reduced risk of being impacted by multiple tropical cyclones while it was considered unlikely that the Pitcairn Islands, Kiribati and parts of French Polynesia such as the Marquesas Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago would be impacted by a tropical cyclone. [3] The FMS's outlook predicted that Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau, Samoa, Niue, the Cook, Society and Austral Islands had an increased chance of being impacted by a tropical cyclone. [2] Their outlook also predicted that the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, the Pitcairn Islands and Tuamotu Archipelago and the Gambier Islands had a normal chance of being impacted by a tropical cyclone. [2] It was also noted that New Caledonia had a reduced chance of being affected by a tropical cyclone, while tropical cyclone activity near Kiribati and the Marquesas Islands was considered unlikely. [2] It was thought by the FMS that there was an increased risk of Wallis & Futuna, the Cook, Society and the Austral Islands being impacted by at least one severe tropical cyclone, while other areas such as Fiji, New Caledonia, Niue, the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga and Niue had a normal to reduced chance of being impacted by a severe tropical cyclone. [2]

Fiji Country in Oceania

Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which 110 are permanently inhabited—and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi). The most outlying island is Ono-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of 898,760. The capital, Suva, on Viti Levu, serves as the country's principal cruise-ship port. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi—where tourism is the major local industry—or Lautoka, where the sugar-cane industry is paramount. Due to its terrain, the interior of Viti Levu is sparsely inhabited.

Niue island country in the South Pacific Ocean

Niue is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) northeast of New Zealand, east of Tonga, south of Samoa, and west of the Cook Islands. Niue's land area is about 261 square kilometres (101 sq mi) and its population, predominantly Polynesian, was about 1,600 in 2016. The island is commonly referred to as "The Rock", which comes from the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia". Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands. The terrain of the island has two noticeable levels. The higher level is made up of a limestone cliff running along the coast, with a plateau in the centre of the island reaching approximately 60 metres high above sea level. The lower level is a coastal terrace approximately 0.5 km wide and about 25–27 metres high, which slopes down and meets the sea in small cliffs. A coral reef surrounds the island, with the only major break in the reef being in the central western coast, close to the capital, Alofi. A notable feature are the many limestone caves near the coast.

Papua New Guinea constitutional monarchy in Oceania

Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea is a country in Oceania that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Seasonal summary

Cyclone Ann (2019)Tropical cyclone scales#Comparisons across basins2018-19 South Pacific cyclone season

Systems

Tropical Cyclone Liua

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Liua 2018-09-26 2345Z.jpg   Liua 2018 track.png
DurationSeptember 26 (Entered basin) – September 28 (Exited basin)
Peak intensity75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  994  hPa  (mbar)

A disturbance which initially formed in the Australian region basin crossed into the South Pacific basin on September 26 and strengthened, and was designated as Tropical Depression 01F by RSMC Nadi. [5] Late on September 26, the storm intensified into a tropical cyclone, and was given the name Liua. Liua is the earliest-forming named tropical cyclone in the South Pacific basin since reliable records began, surpassing 1997's Cyclone Lusi. [6]

Tropical Depression 03F

Tropical depression (Australian scale)
Temporary cyclone south.svg   03F 2018 track.png
DurationDecember 28 – January 1
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  998  hPa  (mbar)

Tropical Cyclone Mona

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Mona 2019-01-06 Suomi NPP.jpg   Mona 2019 track.png
DurationDecember 31 (Entered basin) – January 7
Peak intensity95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  985  hPa  (mbar)

Mona entered this basin as a tropical low from the Australian region basin. The system then intensified into Tropical Depression 04F on January 3. Later that day, it intensified into a Category 1 cyclone on the Australian scale. On January 7, the system dissipated. About 2,000 people took shelter in 40 evacuation centers over the weekend, and thirty roads were closed, mostly due to floods and some landslides. People in the Lau group have been warned to expect gale-force and heavy rain as Mona tracks south, before arching south west over Fiji over the next 24 hours. [7]

Tropical Disturbance 05F

Tropical disturbance (Australian scale)
Temporary cyclone south.svg   05F 2018-19 track.png
DurationDecember 31 – January 2
Peak intensityWinds not specified  998  hPa  (mbar)

Tropical Depression 06F

Tropical depression (Australian scale)
Temporary cyclone south.svg   06F 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 3 – February 9
Peak intensityWinds not specified  994  hPa  (mbar)

On February 3, Tropical Depression 06F formed to the north of Fiji. The system moved in a south-easterly direction and was predicted to reach Category 1 status while the system was located to the NNW of Niua Fo'ou Island. However, due to strong wind shear and cool air flowing from the south of the system, 06F was not named. Tonga was largely affected by TD 06F. On the island, gale force winds flattened banana plantations and crops, especially the casava plant. The system disrupted schools and transportation. All schools were cancelled on Friday, February 8th and all sea and air transportation was disrupted.

On Saturday, the Cyclone Alert and Gale warning that was issued for Tonga regarding TD 06F was lifted. However, another Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert was issued together with new warnings was issued regarding the thread from TD 07F (which later become Neil) which recently formed north of Fiji. TD 06F was one of 4 tropical systems to directly impact the island nation (the others are Tropical Cyclone Neil, Tropical Depression 08F and Tropical Depression 10F) within 1 week.

Tropical Cyclone Neil

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Neil 2019-02-09 Suomi NPP.jpg   Neil 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 8 – February 10
Peak intensity65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min)  994  hPa  (mbar)

On February 8, a tropical low developed into Tropical Depression 07F. The system intensified into a Category 1 tropical cyclone on February 9, 2019, and was assigned the name Neil. The system reached its peak intensity later that day with 10-minute sustained winds of 65 km/h (40 mph). On February 10, Neil weakened into a tropical depression, before dissipating soon afterward. Tonga issued warnings for Neil while it was active, but lifted those warnings once the storm weakened. No structural damage was reported from the storm. [8]

Tropical Depression 08F

Tropical depression (Australian scale)
Temporary cyclone south.svg   08F 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 10 – February 13
Peak intensityWinds not specified  996  hPa  (mbar)

Severe Tropical Cyclone Oma

Category 3 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Oma 2019-02-19 0256Z.jpg   Oma 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 11 (Entered basin) – February 22
Peak intensity130 km/h (80 mph) (10-min)  974  hPa  (mbar)

On February 7, a tropical low developed within an active monsoon trough, along the coast of Vanuatu. [9]

The low crossed into the South Pacific Basin and began intensifying into a tropical cyclone on February 11, earning the name Oma, and quickly reaching Category 2 tropical cyclone intensity.

It then strengthened into a severe tropical cyclone on February 15, reaching its initial peak intensity on February 16, as a Category 3 tropical cyclone on the Australian region scale. Oma then briefly weakened on February 17, before it restrengthened into a severe tropical cyclone and reached its peak intensity on February 19. Oma exited the South Pacific basin and returned to the Australian Region as a tropical cyclone on February 21. Oma weakened to a Category 2 tropical cyclone while approaching the Australian coast. On February 22, Tropical Cyclone Oma crossed over into the South Pacific basin once again. Late on February 22, Oma transitioned into an subtropical cyclone, while turning to the northeast. For the next several days, Oma continued drifting northeastward, weakening further into a subtropical depression on February 25. On February 27, Oma turned eastward, while situated over Vanuatu, and the storm subsequently dissipated on February 28.

Persistent heavy rain, damaging surf, and strong winds battered the northern provinces of Malampa, Sanma, Torba in Vanuatu for several days. Storm surge inundated coastal communities on February 17, extending up to 50 m (160 ft) inland in some areas. Multiple traditionally constructed homes were destroyed while flooding from swollen rivers washed out roads. The strong winds downed trees across the affected region. Communications with Torba were disrupted, with authorities unable to reach the Torres Islands. [10]

Damaging winds up to 140 km/h (87 mph) and heavy rain from the cyclone had battered New Caledonia, leaving thousands of residents without power and isolating some villages. [11] Agriculture was particularly hard-hit with losses reported in all provinces. The French government declared a state of calamity, directed at agriculture, for the entire island which freed 150 million (US$1.43 million) for recovery. [12]

Oma sunk a bulk carrier near the Solomon Islands, and it resulted in an oil spill. The cleaning cost were about US$50 million. [13]

Tropical Depression 10F

Tropical depression (Australian scale)
Temporary cyclone south.svg   10F 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 11 – February 13
Peak intensityWinds not specified  996  hPa  (mbar)

Severe Tropical Cyclone Pola

Category 4 severe tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Pola 2019-02-28 0129Z.jpg   Pola 2019 track.png
DurationFebruary 23 – March 2
Peak intensity165 km/h (105 mph) (10-min)  950  hPa  (mbar)

On February 23, Tropical Disturbance 11F formed to the northeast of Tonga and intensified into a Tropical Depression. The system gradually organized while slowly moving southward. Situated in an environment with sea surface temperatures of 28-30 degrees Celsius and low vertical wind shear, the system intensified into Tropical Cyclone Pola on February 26. Later that day, Pola intensified into a Category 2 tropical cyclone, before becoming a severe tropical cyclone on February 27. On February 28, the system reached its peak intensity, as a Category 4 tropical cyclone on the Australian scale, with 10-minute sustained winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 950 hPa (mbar). On March 1, Pola began to weaken while turning eastward, as a result of cooler sea surface temperatures and shear from a high pressure system over New Zealand. [14] Early on March 2, Pola weakened into a subtropical depression, before dissipating later that day.

Tropical Depression 12F

Tropical depression (Australian scale)
Temporary cyclone south.svg   12F 2019 track.png
DurationMay 16 – Present
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  1002  hPa  (mbar)

On May 16, the FMS started tracking a disturbance for possible cyclone development north of Fiji, in an environment of moderate wind shear and sea surface temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). By May 18, the FMS classed the system as a tropical depression, giving it the identifier 12F, and they forecast the system to reach tropical cyclone intensity within 12–24 hours, and to ultimately attain 10-minute sustained winds of 85 km/h (50 mph). Later the same day, 12F began to move towards the southeast, and the FMS reported that the system was unlikely to intensify further, due to moderately-high wind shear in the area.

Other systems

During November 11, the FMS reported that Tropical Disturbance 02F had developed about 340 km (210 mi) to the north-northeast of Honiara in the Solomon Islands. [15] At this stage the system was located within an area of low vertical windshear, while deep convection surrounding the system's low level circulation was poorly organised. Over the next few days, the system's organization slightly improved as it moved south-eastwards, before it was last noted during November 16, while located about 575 km (355 mi) to the northeast of Port Vila in Vanuatu.

On May 7, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) reported that a weak tropical low had developed within a low-pressure trough, to the east of the Solomon Islands. [16] Over the next couple of days, the system gradually moved south-westwards and moved into the Australian region during May 10, where it later developed into a Category 2 tropical cyclone, and received the name Ann from the BOM.

Storm names

Within the Southern Pacific a tropical depression is judged to have reached tropical cyclone intensity should it reach winds of 65 km/h, (40 mph) and it is evident that gales are occurring at least halfway around the center. With tropical depressions intensifying into a tropical cyclone between the Equator and 25°S and between 160°E - 120°W named by the FMS. However should a tropical depression intensify to the south of 25°S between 160°E and 120°W it will be named by MetService in conjunction with the FMS. Should a tropical cyclone move into the basin from the Australian region it will retain its original name. The next 10 names on the naming list are listed here below. [17]

  • Liua
  • Mona
  • Neil
  • Oma
  • Pola
  • Rita (unused)
  • Sarai (unused)
  • Tino (unused)
  • Uesi (unused)
  • Vicky (unused)

During May, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) noted the development of an off-season tropical low within the South Pacific basin. After exiting the region on May 10, the system later developed into a tropical cyclone in the Australian region, receiving the name Ann from the BOM.

Season effects

This table lists all the storms that developed in the South Pacific to the east of longitude 160°E during the 2018–19 season. It includes their intensity on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, duration, name, landfalls, deaths, and damages. All data is taken from the FMS and/or MetService, and all of the damage figures are in 2018 USD.

NameDates active Peak classification Sustained
wind speeds
PressureAreas affectedDamage
(USD)
DeathsRefs
LiuaSeptember 26 – 28Category 1 tropical cyclone75 km/h (45 mph)994 hPa (29.35 inHg) Solomon Islands None0
02FNovember 11 – 16Tropical disturbanceNot specified1003 hPa (29.62 inHg)Solomon IslandsNone0
03FDecember 28 – January 1Tropical depression55 km/h (35 mph)998 hPa (29.47 inHg)Solomon Islands, Fiji None0
MonaDecember 31 – January 7Category 2 tropical cyclone95 km/h (60 mph)985 hPa (29.09 inHg)Solomon Islands, FijiMinimal0
05FDecember 31 – January 2Tropical disturbanceNot specified998 hPa (29.47 inHg)NoneNone0
06FFebruary 3 – 9Tropical depressionNot specified994 hPa (29.35 inHg) Wallis and Futuna, Fiji, Tonga None0
NeilFebruary 8 – 10Category 1 tropical cyclone65 km/h (40 mph)994 hPa (29.35 inHg)Wallis and Futuna, Fiji, TongaNone0
08FFebruary 10 – 13Tropical depressionNot specified996 hPa (29.41 inHg)Fiji, TongaNone0
OmaFebruary 11 – 22Category 3 severe tropical cyclone130 km/h (80 mph)974 hPa (28.76 inHg)Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia $1.43 million0
10FFebruary 11 – 13Tropical depressionNot specified996 hPa (29.41 inHg)Wallis and Futuna, FijiNone0
PolaFebruary 23 – March 2Category 4 severe tropical cyclone165 km/h (105 mph)950 hPa (28.05 inHg)Wallis and Futuna, Fiji, TongaNone0
Ann May 7 – 10Tropical lowNot specified1003 hPa (29.62 inHg)Solomon Islands, New CaledoniaNone0
12FMay 16 – PresentTropical depression55 km/h (35 mph)1002 hPa (29.59 inHg)NoneNone0
Season aggregates
13 systemsSeptember 26 – present165 km/h (105 mph)950 hPa (28.05 inHg)$1.43 million0

See also

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The 2010–11 South Pacific cyclone season was an average tropical cyclone season, with seven tropical cyclones and five severe tropical cyclones developing during the season. The season ran from November 1, 2010 until April 30, 2011, though if any tropical cyclones had developed between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, the official tropical cyclone year, they would have been counted towards the season's total. Within the South Pacific basin tropical cyclones were officially monitored by the Fiji Meteorological Service's Regional Specialized Meteorological Center in Nadi, Fiji, north of 25°S, and to the south the Meteorological Service of New Zealand's Tropical Cyclone Warning Center in Wellington, New Zealand. Any disturbances forming in the region were designated with a sequential number suffixed by the letter F. In addition, the United States Military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center unofficially monitored parts of the basin during the season, where any systems judged to have achieved tropical storm strength or greater received a number suffixed with the letter P. RSMC Nadi and TCWC Wellington both use the Australian Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale, and measure wind speeds over a period of ten minutes, while the JTWC measures sustained winds over a period of one minute which can be applied to the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale. Seven named storms formed or moved into the South Pacific basin during the 2010–11 season, the strongest of which was Severe Tropical Cyclone Wilma in late January.

1982–83 South Pacific cyclone season cyclone season in the South Pacific ocean

The 1982–83 South Pacific cyclone season was one of the most active and longest South Pacific tropical cyclone seasons on record, with 16 tropical cyclones occurring within the South Pacific basin between 160°E and 120°W. During the season tropical cyclones were monitored by the meteorological services of Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia and New Zealand. The United States Armed Forces through the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center (NPMOC), also monitored the basin and issued unofficial warnings for American interests. The first tropical cyclone of the season developed a day before the season officially began on October 30, while the last tropical cyclone of the season dissipated on May 16. Most of the activity during the season occurred within the central and eastern parts of the basin with French Polynesia affected by several systems.

2013–14 South Pacific cyclone season

The 2013–14 South Pacific cyclone season was a slightly below average tropical cyclone season, with six tropical cyclones occurring within the basin between 160°E and 120°W. The season ran from November 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014, however, the first four tropical disturbances occurred during October 2013 and were included as a part of the season. During the season, tropical cyclones were officially monitored by the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and New Zealand's MetService. The United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and other national meteorological services including Météo-France and NOAA also monitored the basin during the season. During the season there were 21 significant tropical disturbances were assigned a number and an "F" suffix by the FMS's Regional Specialized Meteorological Center in Nadi, Fiji (RSMC Nadi), including the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Hadi from the Australian region. The BoM, MetService and RSMC Nadi all estimated sustained wind speeds over a period of 10-minutes and used the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, while the JTWC estimated sustained winds over a 1-minute period, which are subsequently compared to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHS).

2018–19 Australian region cyclone season

The 2018–19 Australian region cyclone season was a near-average season where most tropical cyclones form in the Southern Indian Ocean and Pacific Oceans between 90°E and 160°E. The season officially began on 1 November 2018 and concluded on 30 April 2019; however, tropical cyclones can form at any time of the year, and as such, any system existing between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019 and would count towards the season total. This was evidenced by the formation of Tropical Low Liua during September 2018 and Tropical Cyclones Lili and Ann in May 2019. During the season, tropical cyclones were officially monitored by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the National Weather Service of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby. The United States Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Hawaii, and other national meteorological services such as MetService in New Zealand, Météo-France at La Réunion, and the Fiji Meteorological Service, also monitored parts of the basin during the season in an unofficial capacity.

2014–15 South Pacific cyclone season

The 2014–15 South Pacific cyclone season was a slightly-below average tropical cyclone season, with five tropical cyclones occurring within the basin between 160°E and 120°W. The season officially ran from November 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015. During the season, tropical cyclones were officially monitored by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) in Nadi, Fiji and the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centers in Brisbane, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand. The United States Armed Forces through the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) also monitored the basin and issued unofficial warnings for American interests. RSMC Nadi attaches a number and an F suffix to tropical disturbances that form in or move into the basin while the JTWC designates significant tropical cyclones with a number and a P suffix. RSMC Nadi, TCWC Wellington and TCWC Brisbane all use the Australian Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale and estimate windspeeds over a period of ten minutes, while the JTWC estimated sustained winds over a 1-minute period, which are subsequently compared to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS).

1984–85 South Pacific cyclone season cyclone season in the South Pacific ocean

The 1984–85 South Pacific cyclone season was an above-average tropical cyclone season, with nine tropical cyclones occurring within the basin between 160°E and 120°W. The season ran from November 1, 1984, to April 30, 1985, with tropical cyclones officially monitored by the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and New Zealand's MetService. The United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and other national meteorological services including Météo-France and NOAA also monitored the basin during the season. During the season there was nine tropical cyclones occurring within the basin, including three that moved into the basin from the Australian region. The BoM, MetService and RSMC Nadi all estimated sustained wind speeds over a period of 10-minutes, which are subsequently compared to the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, while the JTWC estimated sustained winds over a 1-minute period, which are subsequently compared to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS).

2015–16 South Pacific cyclone season

The 2015–16 South Pacific cyclone season was one of the most disastrous South Pacific tropical cyclone seasons on record, with a total of 50 deaths and $1.405 billion in damage. Throughout the season, 8 systems attained tropical cyclone status, whilst 5 became severe tropical cyclones. The most notable cyclone of the season by far was Winston, which attained a minimum pressure of 884 hPa, and maximum ten-minute sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h), making it the most intense tropical cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere. Winston went on to devastate Fiji, causing $1.4 billion in damage and 44 deaths across the country.

2016–17 South Pacific cyclone season

The 2016–17 South Pacific cyclone season was the least active South Pacific cyclone season since the 2011–12 season, with only four tropical cyclones occurring within the South Pacific Ocean to the east of 160°E. Two of the four systems developed into severe tropical cyclones on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale. The season officially ran from November 1, 2016 until April 30, 2017. However, May featured two post-season systems: Donna and Ella, of which the former was the strongest post-season South Pacific tropical cyclone ever recorded in that month. Overall, 22 tropical disturbances were monitored by a combination of the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and New Zealand's MetService.

2017–18 South Pacific cyclone season

The 2017–18 South Pacific cyclone season was a slightly below-average season that produced 6 tropical cyclones, 3 of which became severe tropical cyclones. The season officially began on November 1, 2017 and ended on April 30, 2018; however, a tropical cyclone could form at any time between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 and would count towards the season total. During the season, tropical cyclones were officially monitored by the Fiji Meteorological Service, MetService and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, while the United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) also monitored the basin and issued warnings for American interests. The FMS attaches a number and an F suffix to significant tropical disturbances that form in or move into the basin, while the JTWC designates significant tropical cyclones with a number and a P suffix. The BoM, FMS and MetService all use the Australian Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale and estimate wind speeds over a period of ten minutes, while the JTWC estimates sustained winds over a 1-minute period, which are subsequently compared to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS).

Cyclone Ula

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula was a powerful and long-lived tropical cyclone during late December 2015 and mid-January 2016. It originated from a tropical disturbance on December 26, 2015, east of the Solomon Islands. Moving generally east, development was initially slow and the system finally reached cyclone strength—having gale-force winds—on December 30. The newly christened Tropical Cyclone Ula turned sharply south and rapidly intensified, attaining hurricane-strength the following day. A shift to the southwest brought the system close to the northern islands of Tonga on January 2, 2016. It subsequently brushed several islands in the Lau Group of Fiji before weakening. Nearly degrading to a tropical depression, Ula turned to the northwest and regained strength. After turning back to the southwest, it achieved its peak intensity as a Category 4 on the Australian scale with winds of 185 km/h (115 mph) on January 10. Thereafter, the storm bypassed Vanuatu to the southeast and New Caledonia to the east as it accelerated southward.

References

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