A warning has been upgraded from a tropical storm to a warm and humid cyclone in the Northern Cook Islands on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. According to the Fiji Met services, there has been a tropical disturbance hovering over the Northern Cook Islands for a few days and now it has been upgraded to a tropical cyclone, Victor.
Cyclone Victor is considered a category two twister, at this time. It is moving 9 km an hour, southwest. It is expected that close to the center of the twister winds are moving at 92 km and 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 up to 90 knots. It is now considered by the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale to be a category one Hurricane. NASA believes Victor will continue to intensify within the next few days and should peak at 115 knots.
Headliners Today will continue to report on 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