South Pacific,Coral Sea: Tropical Cyclone Harold

Tropical Cyclone Harold left a trail of damage through the Solomon Islands, intensifying into a Category 5 cyclone as it slowly raged through Vanuatu. As it passes close to the south of Fiji Harold has reduced to a Category 4 cyclone but will still bring strong winds and lots of rain to Fiji.

Published 3 years ago

Forecast track map for severe Tropical Cyclone Harold. Photo: Fiji Meteorology Service

Update 7th April, 2020

Harold, now a strong cat 4 system, will pass south of Port Denarau, Fiji today. It will bring consistent 40 knots with gusts of 60 knots +.

Update 5th April, 2020

Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold is located around 15.4S 166.2E and has intensified into a category 5 system. Harold is already affecting the westernmost islands of Vanuatu (Espiritu Santo and Malakula), and will continue moving East at 6 knots with sustained winds of 110 knots close to its centre. Harold will likely cross between the islands Pentecost and Ambrym significantly impacting all these islands with destructive winds.

Models are all still predicting TC Harold to pass South of Fiji during the day on Wednesday. It is likely to be a strong category 3 system at this time and cruisers are engaging cyclone preparation plans.

Posted 3rd April, 2020

Starting as a tropical disturbance to the north-northeast of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea on 30 March, the system started moving south-east and over a 3 day period strengthened into a tropical storm.

On April 3rd a cyclone warning was issued for the Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Islands Director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates reported on Friday April 3 that at least two ships had been washed ashore, fallen trees were blocking roads and the power was out in many areas.

Cyclone Harold is now tracking towards Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu and a Red Alert has been issued for Torba and Sanma provinces. Damaging gale force winds of 150km/h with gusts to 160km/h are expected within 24 hours, report the The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department.

Over the weekend and into next week, Harold is expected to intensify further as it moves across Vanuatu, with an average wind speed of 220 km/h and gusts that could touch 270 km/h with 8.5m waves in open sea

Meteorologists are anticipating Harold will intensify and develop into a Category 4 or even 5 Cyclone.

Harold’s predicted track is SW of Fiji.

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