Cyclones in the Southwest Pacific
Analysis by Kevin Nugent, Baron Forecast Meteorologist
The powerful Tropical Cyclone Pam with estimated sustained winds of 165 mph is moving SSE at 10 mph this morning. The cyclone is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane in the US. Pam rapidly intensified yesterday afternoon and is now one of the strongest cyclones ever in the SW Pacific Ocean. The cyclone passed directly over the island of Vanuatu last night, potentially causing catastrophic amounts of damage in those areas.
Baron Satellite-Derived Reflectivity, above, shows a tight center of circulation with a central dense overcast, indicating intense convection/squalls circulating clockwise around the center. Wave heights alone, shown below, are estimated at 43 feet near the center of circulation to go along with the 165 mph winds. The storm will pass over additional populated islands to the SE of Vanuatu today causing additional damage.
Tropical Cyclone Nathan, below, is producing winds of 65 mph, affecting the northeastern tip of Australia. Nathan is moving toward the ESE at 10 mph, and is expected to move into the open Coral Sea. The data used here is Satellite-Derived Reflectivity.
Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Olwyn is affecting the western coast of Australia with winds of 75 mph, as shown here with Satellite-Derived Reflectivity. Olwyn is moving SSE and will weaken today, but will pass near Perth with winds of 65-70 mph.