Overnight Sunday into Monday, Invest 91P / Tropical Depression 13F was upgraded to Tropical Cyclone Keni to the East of Vanuatu. The system remains on track to impact Fiji over the next 72hrs. Above image via NOAA

 

During the overnight hours of Sunday into Monday, the Fiji Meteorological Service upgraded what was Invest 91P or under their terminology Tropical Depression 13F into Tropical Cyclone Keni. The system developed a little slower than what models were hinting at, but thats a good thing. The system also received an unexpected name (from the outside) as it was expected to be named Kala, however due to a name swap which sometimes occurs in the South West Pacific, the system received Keni instead.

Fiji Metservice track map for TC Keni

Fiji Metservice track map for TC Keni

 

 

Keni is expected to be a fast moving system once it gets going. Global models remain confident on the system reaching Category 2 strength during Tuesday morning as it barrels East and South East towards Fiji. The system was originally expected to track South of Fiji and over the Kadavu Islands however models have since pushed it fractionally further South now which is better news for Viti Levu and the other main islands of Fiji as the impacts are expected to be lesser now… but also for those unprotected Islands South of Fiji, as while there is still some destructive impacts expected, they should be slightly less now (any news is good news, right?)

JTWC extended track map for TC Keni

JTWC extended track map for TC Keni

 

For those holidaying or living over on Fiji, the system may catch you off guard due to the extremely fast movement that is expected. Conditions should be okay during Monday night and early on Tuesday, however conditions should very rapidly deteriorate with strong to damaging winds (between 70 and 110km/h) over Viti Levu and heavy rain with 100-200mm from around late morning Tuesday until early Wednesday. The system should then clear the region by Wednesday with only some additional lingering heavy showers expected.

Over the next 3-4 days, rainfall totals of 100-200mm are expected over the region from the system itself and the onshore flow trailing in behind it, however isolated heavier areas are possible also. These kinds of falls will be the main threat apart from some squally conditions over the Southern side of Fiji, and could lead to further flooding. Hopefully, the flooding should clear as quickly as it occurs though. So if youre able to seek some shelter withstand the strong winds and heavy rain for about 12-18hrs, then you should be able to continue on with holidays or livelihoods from Wednesday onwards.

Most likely rainfall across Fiji via ACCESS / weather.us

Most likely rainfall across Fiji via ACCESS / weather.us