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Somerset Squall

Severe Tropical Cyclone Victor

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Another tropical cyclone has formed in the Southern Pacific, hot on the heels of Tropical Cyclone Ula. 07P has winds of 35kts and is located east of American Samoa and is moving southwards along the western peiphery of a ridge to the east. This ridge is expected to remain in control of 07P over the next few days, maintaining the southward motion. Conditions are very favourable for development, with low shear, excellent outflow and very warm waters beneath the system. Rapid intensification is a distinct possibility over the next few days. JTWC expecta peak of 100kts before cooler waters and increased shear weaken 07P.

 

sh0716.thumb.gif.d770d84c155da2d99caa53d

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This was TD08F before becoming Victor tonight.  Looks set for a southward track and to only affect the Cook Islands - hopefully not badly.

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Checking in more detail, as your posted track above shows Fiji Met also have Victor moving southwest before a turn to the southeast and then becoming category 3 but passing Niue at a fairly safe distance.  Not sure of any possible turn towards Rarotonga.

http://www.met.gov.fj/aifs_prods/65661.html

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Victor has rapidly strengthened over the last 12 hours and now has winds of 65kts according to JTWC. The cyclone has developed a large and ragged eye. Conditions are near perfect for intensification, with low shear, warm waters, and excellent outflow. Therefore, further rapid intensification is expected as Victor moves south. JTWC now expect a peak of 115kts.

 

20160115.2100.goes15.x.vis1km_high.07PVI

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Victor has strengthened slower than anticipated, but now has winds of 90kts. Victor has probably peaked as it will soon be moving over cooler waters before veering to the west and weakening.

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Currently a Category 3 cyclone just having passed Palmerston atoll in the Cook Islands, now heading towards Niue and Tonga (Fiji Met threat track posted below) before looking likely to bullseye NZ (according to the BOM Access model). Haven't looked too often at Victor, but he seems lively!

 

Victor.thumb.jpg.f9a7d2c456edc13c91aa8dd

 

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Victor veered west after I posted and began weakening. JTWC have issued their last warning on the system has it has been sheared apart. Winds associated with the low are 30kts. Regeneration is not expected.

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On she heads to give Hawke's Bay and North/Mid Canterbury a soaking this week before shuffling out east.

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