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tropicbreeze

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ola

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The tropical low hanging around in the Coral Sea has moved slowly south east and is now north of New Caledonia.

RMSC Nadi advised at 300600 UTC position near 16.8 S 161.6 E, central pressure 995 hPa, wind speed (10 minute) 25 knots, tracking south south east at 8 knots. Vertical wind shear is low, outflow to the north and south of the system is good, and sea surface temperatures are around 30C. The possibility of developing into a tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours is high.

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The system has now been upgraded to Tropical Cyclone Ola, with winds of 35kts. Ola has well developed banding features and some fairly persistant central convection. Ola is currently tracking very slowly just east of south, and this slow motion, with a bend more due south, is expected to continue. Ola will likely remain west of New Caledonia, but heavy rains from the outer bands will probably deliver some heavy rains here. Shear is low to moderate, and outflow, particularly in a poleward direction, is good. Therefore, Ola should strengthen at least steadily for the next 2 to 3 days. Thereafter, increasing shear will induce a weakening trend.

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At 310600 UTC central pressure 982 hPa, wind speed (10 minute) 50 knots, sea surface temperature about 30C, tracking south south east at 3 knots. Vertical wind shear is low and outflow is good southwards but restricted elsewhere. Wind speed of 60 knots is expected in 36 hours.

 

RMSC Nadi
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number 39 issued 0737 UTC Saturday 31 January 2015
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Ola has strengthened overnight, and winds are at 45kts according to JTWC, which may be a slightly conservative estimate given that Fiji Met has assigned a 50kt intensity to the system. Ola has developed a small central dense overcast with a thick, curved banding feature wrapping in from the south. Further strengthening appears likely due to warm sea temperatures, low to moderate shear and good outflow. In a few days, Ola is forecast to turn westwards towards the coast of Australia as ridging builds to the south, blocking further southward progress. At this stage however, Ola should be weakening fairly quickly under sheared conditions.

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Ola has continued to intensify and has now been upgraded to a severe tropical cyclone.

At 010600 UTC central pressure 965 hPa, wind speed (10 minute) 70 knots, tracking south south west at 2 knots, sea surface temperatures about 30C. Outflow is still good to the south but remains restricted elsewhere, vertical wind shear is moderate.

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Ola's winds have increased to 90kts using 1 minute sustained estimates, which makes Ola a cat 2 on the SS scale. The intensification of this system has been fairly rapid, but this strengthening is probably at an end as shear is beginning to increase and outflow is weak exept in a poleward direction.

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At 021200 UTC central pressure 974 hPa, wind speed (10 minute) 60 knots, tracking south south east at 9 knots, sea surface temperatures about 29C, vertical wind shear is high, outflow remains good to the south.

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Very quiet cyclone season in Australia with no land crossings, will be quite remarkable if it stays this way for a few weeks longer. 

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