Cyclone alert

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ROADS BECOME WATERWAYS: Vehicles turned boat-like after heavy rain pounded through the national capital Honiara yesterday afternoon and left much of the city under water. PHOTO BY BENZ NEWMAN
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Tropical low pressure may develop south of Renbel

BY JARED KOLI

A tropical low pressure system may develop in the northern Coral Sea, south of Rennell and Bellona islands making conditions ripe for the formation of a cyclone, it is predicted.

The Solomon Islands Meteorological Services (SIMS) has warned that an active trough lies over Solomon Islands.

The likelihood of a tropical cyclone forming in the Coral Sea this week will increase from very low to moderate and high.

SIMS forecasting centre Duty forecaster Slade Ririmae said SIMS is still to locate and track the likely formation of a tropical cyclone, which is in its “early stages”.

Mr Ririmae said if a tropical cyclone does form, it would move east to southeast towards the Solomon Islands and further east towards Vanuatu over the coming days.

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“Yes, the chances are high and we are working on to track the likely formation of a cyclone, currently we are collaborating with Australia and Fiji weather bureau to give us update, but there is high confidence of a likely formation of cyclone moving towards us,” Ririmae said.

He said the current wet weather is then expected to intensify for the rest of the long weekend.

SIMS late yesterday evening warned mariners that fresh to strong winds gushing up to 15 to 25knots are expected over the country and moderate west to northwest swells up to 2.5m is expected over waters of Rennell & Bellona, Temotu and waters south of Guadalcanal and Makira provinces within the next 24 hours.

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology yesterday stated that due to the developing monsoon across the northern Coral Sea, the low is forecast to intensify over the next few days.

“The low may develop into a tropical cyclone, well offshore from the Queensland coast, with a moderate chance of development on Saturday and Sunday as the monsoon strengthens. If a tropical cyclone did form, it would move east to southeast, away from the Australian east coast.

Australia weather bureau also stated the tropical low was expected to form well offshore and move east or southeast towards the Solomon Islands and away from the Australian coastline.

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