Fiji Meteorological Service

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Location of Fiji in the Pacific Ocean -174 -20 globe.jpg
Location of Fiji in the Pacific Ocean

The Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) is a Department of the government of Fiji responsible for providing weather forecasts and is based in Nadi. The current director of Fiji Meteorological Service is Ravind Kumar. Since 1985, FMS has been responsible for naming and tracking tropical cyclones in the Southwest Pacific region. Current Meteorologists working at FMS have a Graduate Diploma in Meteorology from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

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.

Nadi Place in Viti Levu, Fiji

Nadi is the third-largest conurbation in Fiji. It is located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu, and had a population of 42,284 at the most recent census, in 2007. A 2012 estimate showed that the population had grown to over 50,000. Nadi is multiracial with many of its inhabitants Indian or Fijian, along with a large transient population of foreign tourists. Along with sugar cane production, tourism is a mainstay of the local economy.

Tropical cyclone Is a rotating storm system

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

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History

In the 1910s, weather services for Fiji were considered part of the responsibility of the Harbour Board in Suva. [1]

Role of Fiji Meteorological Services

Nadi town.jpg

Since June 1995, the central weather office of Fiji, Nadi, has been one of six Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers within the World Weather Watch program of the World Meteorological Organization. Its specialty is forecasting tropical cyclones south of the equator to the 25th parallel south, and between the 160th meridian east and 120th meridian west longitude. FMS issues public and marine weather bulletins for Kiribati, Northern Cooks, Southern Cooks, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Niue, Nauru and Fiji. The Fiji Meteorological Services, as per agreement with the International Civil Aviation Organization, functions as the Meteorological Watch Office for the Nadi Flight Information Region (FIR), which extends from Western Kiribati to Tuvalu, Fiji, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia. However, it still provides certain aviation forecast services to Cook Islands, Christmas Island (Line Islands), Samoa, Niue and Tonga which are situated outside the Nadi FIR boundary. Aviation products issued by FMS include Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF), Trend Type Forecasts (TTF), Area Forecasts, Route Forecasts, Inclement Weather Warnings for Nadi and Nausori Airports, Sigmets and Tropical Cyclone Advisories (TCA). Routine 24 hour TAF's are issued for Nadi (NFFN), Nausori (NFNA), Rarotonga (NCRG), Fuamotu (NFTF), Vavau (NFTV), Faleolo (NFSA), Niue, Tarawa (NGTA), and Christmas Island (PLCH) airports. 24 hour TAF's are also issued for Funafuti (NGFU) airport on certain days. TAF's (validity periods of less than 24 hours) are also issued for Aitutaki (NCAI), Manihiki (NCMH), Penrhyn (NCPY), Haapai (NFTL), Labasa (NFNL) and Rotuma (NFNR) airports.

A Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre is responsible for the distribution of information, advisories, and warnings regarding the specific program they have a part of, agreed by consensus at the World Meteorological Organization as part of the World Weather Watch.

World Meteorological Organization Specialised agency of the United Nations

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 192 Member States and Territories. Its current Secretary-General is Petteri Taalas and the President of the World Meteorological Congress, its supreme body, is David Grimes. The Organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Equator Intersection of a spheres surface with the plane perpendicular to the spheres axis of rotation and midway between the poles

An equator of a rotating spheroid is its zeroth circle of latitude (parallel). It is the imaginary line on the spheroid's surface, equidistant from its poles, dividing it into northern and southern hemispheres. In other words, it is the intersection of the spheroid's surface with the plane perpendicular to its axis of rotation and midway between its geographical poles.

Tropical Cyclone Products Issued by FMS

Special Weather Bulletins (SWB's), Tropical Disturbance Advisories (TDA's), Special Advisory for Samoa, Tropical Cyclone Advisories (TCA's), Tropical Cyclone Sigmets, CREX bulletins, International Marine Warnings associated with tropical cyclones (WTPS and WHPS) and Tropical cyclone forecast and uncertainty tracks are the tropical cyclone products issued by FMS.

Samoa country in Oceania

Samoa, officially the Independent State ofSamoa and, until 4 July 1997, known as Western Samoa, is a country consisting of two main islands, Savai'i and Upolu, and four smaller islands. The capital city is Apia. The Lapita people discovered and settled the Samoan Islands around 3,500 years ago. They developed a unique Samoan language and Samoan cultural identity.

See also

2018–19 South Pacific cyclone season

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 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.

Related Research Articles

2007–08 South Pacific cyclone season cyclone season in the South Pacific ocean

The 2007–08 South Pacific cyclone season was one of the least active South Pacific tropical cyclone season's on record, with only four tropical cyclones occurring within the South Pacific basin to the east of 160°E. The season officially ran from November 1, 2007 until April 30, 2008, although the first cyclone, Tropical Depression 01F, developed on October 17. The most intense tropical cyclone of the season was Severe Tropical Cyclone Daman, which reached a minimum pressure of 925 hPa (27.32 inHg) as it affected Fiji. After the season had ended, the names Daman, Funa, and Gene were retired from the tropical cyclone naming lists.

2006–07 South Pacific cyclone season cyclone season in the South Pacific ocean

The 2006–07 South Pacific cyclone season was an event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It began on November 1, 2006 and ended on April 30, 2007. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the southern Pacific Ocean east of 160°E. Additionally, the regional tropical cyclone operational plan defines a tropical cyclone year separately from a tropical cyclone season, and the "tropical cyclone year" runs from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007.

2005–06 South Pacific cyclone season cyclone season in the South Pacific ocean

The 2005–06 South Pacific cyclone season was an event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It began on November 1, 2005 and ended on April 30, 2006. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the southern Pacific Ocean east of 160°E. Additionally, the regional tropical cyclone operational plan defines a tropical cyclone year separately from a tropical cyclone season, and the "tropical cyclone year" runs from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006.

Cyclone Tam Category 1 South Pacific cyclone in 2006

Tropical Cyclone Tam was the first named storm of the 2005–06 South Pacific cyclone season. Forming out of a tropical depression on January 6, the storm gradually intensified, becoming a tropical cyclone on January 12 and receiving the name Tam. Although it was traveling at a quick pace, the storm gained organization and reached its peak intensity with winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) the following day. However, the increasing forward motion of the storm, combined with strengthening wind shear, caused Tam to rapidly weaken on January 14. Around that time, it entered the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre in Wellington, New Zealand's area of responsibility. Shortly thereafter, the storm transitioned into an extratropical cyclone and dissipated early the next day. Cyclone Tam produced heavy rainfall and strong winds over American Samoa upon being named. The precipitation caused several mudslides and flooding, which inflicted $26,000 in damage. The storm also had minor effects on Niue, Tonga, and Futuna.

2009–10 South Pacific cyclone season cyclone season in the South Pacific ocean

The 2009–10 South Pacific cyclone season began on December 3, 2009 with the formation of Tropical Disturbance 01F, 32 days after the cyclone season had officially begun on November 1, 2009. The season ended on April 30, 2010. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the southern Pacific Ocean east of 160°E. Additionally, the regional tropical cyclone operational plan defines a tropical cyclone year separately from a tropical cyclone season; the "tropical cyclone year" began on July 1, 2009 and ended on June 30, 2010. Tropical cyclones between 160°E and 120°W and north of 25°S are monitored by the Fiji Meteorological Service. Those that move south of 25°S are monitored by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre in Wellington, New Zealand. The first tropical disturbance of the season formed on December 3, about 1015 km (700 mi) to the north of Suva, Fiji and later intensified into Tropical Cyclone Mick. The last system, 15F, dissipated on April 5 of the following year.

1992–93 South Pacific cyclone season cyclone season in the South Pacific ocean

The 1992–93 South Pacific cyclone season was an above-average tropical cyclone season with ten tropical cyclones occurring within the South Pacific to the east of 160°E. The season officially ran from November 1, 1992, to April 30, 1993, with the first disturbance of the season forming on December 3 and the last disturbance dissipating on April 6.

1989–90 South Pacific cyclone season cyclone season in the South Pacific ocean

The 1989–90 South Pacific cyclone season was a below-average season with only five tropical cyclones occurring within the South Pacific to the east of 160°E. The season officially ran from November 1, 1989, to April 30, 1990, with the first disturbance of the season forming on November 8 and the last disturbance dissipating on March 19. This is the period of the year when most tropical cyclones form within the South Pacific Ocean.

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).

Cyclone Pat

Severe Tropical Cyclone Pat was a small but strong tropical cyclone that passed directly over Aitutaki, Cook Islands, in southern Pacific Ocean on February 10, 2010. Part of a series of storms to impact the group of islands early that year, Pat was first identified as a tropical depression on February 6 well to the northeast of the Samoan Islands. The storm steadily organized as it moved generally southeast, becoming a tropical cyclone on February 8. Turning to the south, intensification began in earnest and the system acquired hurricane-force winds within 48 hours of being named. The 445 km (275 mi) wide system displayed annular characteristics and a 19 km (12 mi) wide eye. Pat reached its peak strength early on February 10 as a severe tropical cyclone with winds of 140 km/h (85 mph) and a barometric pressure of 960 mbar. Hours later it struck Aitutaki, producing gusts in excess of 185 km/h (115 mph) on the island. Hostile wind shear then prompted rapid weakening of the cyclone. The system degraded below gale-intensity on February 11, just 24 hours after it peaked, and was last noted early on February 12.

Cyclone Joni

Severe Tropical Cyclone Joni was a damaging tropical cyclone that impacted the island nations of Tuvalu and Fiji. It was first noted within the South Pacific Convergence Zone at the start of December 1992, as a shallow tropical depression in the vicinity of the island nation Tuvalu. Over the next few days the system gradually developed further as it affected Tuvalu, before it was declared to be a tropical cyclone and named Joni by the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) during December 7. Over the next couple of days the system intensified further as it was steered south-westwards and posed a threat towards the Fijian dependency of Rotuma and the French territory of Wallis and Futuna. The system subsequently peaked as a Category 4 severe tropical cyclone on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale as it approached the Fijian Islands during December 10. Over the next couple of days the system moved through the Fijian Islands, before it became an extratropical cyclone during December 13. The system was last noted during the next day as it was absorbed by a mid-latitude trough of low pressure to the east of New Zealand.

Cyclone Pam Category 5 South Pacific cyclone in 2015

Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam was the second most intense tropical cyclone of the south Pacific Ocean in terms of sustained winds and is regarded as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of Vanuatu. A total of 15–16 people lost their lives either directly or indirectly as a result of Pam with many others injured. The storm's impacts were also felt, albeit to a lesser extent, to other islands in the South Pacific, most notably the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and New Zealand. Pam is the third most intense storm of the South Pacific Ocean according to pressure, after Winston of 2016 and Zoe of 2002. In addition, Pam is tied with Orson, Monica and Fantala for having the second strongest ten-minute maximum sustained winds of any cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere. Thousands of homes, schools and buildings were damaged or destroyed, with an estimated 3,300 people displaced as a result.

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).

Cyclone Ofa Category 4 South Pacific cyclone in 1990

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ofa was considered to be the worst tropical cyclone to affect Polynesia since Cyclone Bebe. The system was first noted on January 27, 1990, near Tuvalu, as a shallow tropical depression that had developed within the South Pacific Convergence Zone. The cloud pattern slowly organized, and on January 31, while located east of Tuvalu, Ofa attained cyclone intensity. Moving slowly southeast, Ofa developed storm-force winds. It attained hurricane-force winds on February 2. Cyclone Ofa reached peak intensity on February 4. Shortly after, its peak Ofa began to weaken over a less favourable environment. Ofa was declared an extratropical cyclone on February 8, though the system was still tracked by meteorologists until February 10.

Cyclone Sina Category 3 South Pacific cyclone in 1990

Severe Tropical Cyclone Sina was the only named tropical cyclone to develop within the South Pacific basin during the 1990–91 season. The system was first noted as a shallow depression within the South Pacific Convergence Zone to the west of Wallis Island. Over the next three days the system moved towards the west-northwest, before it was named Sina during November 24, after it had developed into a tropical cyclone. Over the next couple of days the system intensified further and developed an eye feature as it erratically moved towards Fiji. Sina subsequently peaked in intensity during November 26, before the system passed through the Fijian Islands over the next two days as it started to gradually weaken. Sina subsequently passed just to the north of Tongatapu in Tonga during November 29, before it passed about 160 km (100 mi) to the south of Niue and near the Southern Cook Islands during the next day. The system subsequently rapidly weakened and became an extratropical cyclone during December 1, before they were absorbed by an advancing trough of low pressure near 50°S on December 4.

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 Bebe

Severe Tropical Cyclone Bebe, also known as Hurricane Bebe, was a pre-season storm in the South Pacific Ocean that impacted Fiji, the Ellice Islands and the Gilbert Islands during October 1972.

Cyclone Amos Category 3 South Pacific cyclone in 2016

Severe Tropical Cyclone Amos was a strong tropical cyclone that affected the Fijian and Samoan Islands as well as Wallis and Futuna. Amos was first noted as Tropical Disturbance 17F during April 13, 2016 to the northwest of Fiji. The system subsequently moved south-eastwards towards the Fijian Islands, before it passed near or over Vanua Levu during April 16. After passing over Fiji, the system gradually developed further as it moved north-eastwards towards the Samoan Islands. The system was subsequently named Amos during April 20, after it had developed into a tropical cyclone and started to move north-westwards towards the island nation of Tuvalu.

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