Samoa on high alert for Tropical Cyclone Ella

By Sina Filifilia Seva’aetasi ,

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An aerial photo of Tropical Cyclone Ella moving in the South Pacific.

An aerial photo of Tropical Cyclone Ella moving in the South Pacific. (Photo: NASA)

The heavy rainfall that Samoa is experiencing is due to Tropical Cyclone Ella. 

The Tropical Depression that formed late Tuesday afternoon is slowing moving westward at 12 miles per hour.  The forecasted track for the tropical cyclone is that it is predicted to move towards Fiji.  

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A) reported , “Tropical Cyclone Ella was  a tropical storm strength at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) on May 9. It was located about 150 nautical miles west-southwest of Pago Pago, near 14.9 degrees south latitude and 173.6 degrees west longitude.”

“Ella had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph/83 kph), and is not expected to reach hurricane force. Ella was moving to the west-northwest at a crawl of 2 knots (2.3 mph/3.7 kph),” the advisory issued by N.A.S.A. stated. 

“On May 9 at 0354 UTC (May 8 at 11:54 p.m. EDT) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of newly developed Tropical Cyclone Ella northeast of the island of Fiji. The imagery showed a consolidating system with flaring thunderstorm development around the centre of circulation.” 

“The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre noted that the environment is conducive for development with warm sea surface temperatures and low vertical wind shear. However, because Tropical Cyclone Donna is located to the west its outflow is impeding Ella's own outflow. A tropical cyclone needs outflow of air from the top of the system to maintain strength or strengthen,” the report concluded.  

Ella is expected to move into an environment with “high vertical wind shear” which is expected to weaken the system as it approaches in Fiji. 

However, the warnings and advisories that are still effective for Samoa include heavy rainfall warning, flood advisory for low lying areas and areas near rivers and streams, landslides are possible in prone areas, small craft and fishing alias advisory as well as wind advisory.  

 The conditions are predicted to ease this evening however the Met Service is predicting a very wet weekend.  

 It is advised that everyone should stay alert and look out for advisories issued through media organisations and social media. 

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