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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tropical Cyclone Ului strengthens

Tropical Cyclone Ului has crossed the northern islands of Vanuatu and is intensifying as it moves towards the west. The cyclone is already a category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale and is expected to increase to category 5 by Monday.

Ului is causing flooding in Vanuatu even though the eye of the storm has crossed the islands. Heavy rain and gale force winds are still being experienced, especially over open ocean.

Tropical Cyclone Ului forecast to intensify as it heads away from Vanuatu (Radio New Zealand International)
Tropical Cyclone Ului is currently 150 nautical miles Northwest of Vanuatu’s northern islands.

David Gibson, from Vanuatu’s metservice heavy rainfall and flooding will continue to affect the northern and parts of the central islands.

“The system is still in close proximity to the Nothern Islands. We get a lot of rain, and so flooding is possible over low lying areas and also seas are very rough at the moment, up to 35 knots in the open waters, so boats, open vessels, are still advised not to go out to sea at this time. It is heading towards the Solomon Islands and is likely to intensify because it is towards the open waters.”

Cyclone Ului is expected to continue towards Australia's Queensland coast after strafing the Solomon Islands.

Cyclone Ului heading for coast (Courier Mail)
EMERGENCY Management Queensland is closely monitoring a tropical cyclone that could threaten the Queensland coastline this week.

Category two Tropical Cyclone Ului was about 250km northwest of Vanuatu and 1800km east of Queensland last night, tracking west at six knots.

Packing winds up to 140km/h, it is expected to intensify to a category three cyclone today and shift to a southwest course towards the central Queensland coast.

Weather bureau senior forecaster Tony Wedd said it was too early to tell whether TC Ului would cross the coast but forecast models suggested it would track "well into the Coral Sea".

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