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Cyclones change direction when approaching Tonga

(Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 09/11/2016)

Future cyclone tracks could come from any direction and no longer travels on the traditional path we’re used to.

This was a response from the Director of Meteorology – ‘Ofa Fa’anunu to a question during Radio Tonga’s talk back show yesterday on Tonga’s cyclone season.

The objective of the talkback was to advise and remind people of the best ways to prepare and gear up for possible strong cyclones during the coming months. He estimated about 2 to 3 tropical cyclones to visit Tonga during this period.

Fa’anunu said the traditional track of cyclones that reached Tonga is from the Fiji waters and the two Niuas were often hit because their waters are warmer.

However two of the recent cyclones that hit Tonga changed direction from the Niuas to Tongatapu, Vava’u and Ha’apai.

This was real evidence of climate change affecting our oceans with changes in cyclone paths.

Fa’anunu also explained the concern rose about last weekend’s squally thunderstorm which caused alarm to many people especially children who were new to the fearful sounds and lights.

The squally thunderstorm occurred early morning hours of Saturday and was accompanied with heavy rain but only for a short period.

Fa’anunu said the squally thunderstorm is caused by the collision of warm and cold air in the atmosphere.

During such period it is safer for people to remain inside their houses, turn off their electricity supply and keep away from metal objects which could attract lightning and squalls.

Manager of NEMO – Lēveni ‘Aho along with Fa’anunu advised public to be extra careful during the cyclone season and it is always wise to be prepared at all times.

Fa’anunu said the heavy rain and squally thunderstorm occurred in Tonga are impact of climate change.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016