Cyclone Mona to bring heavy rain, strong winds to Fiji

Cyclone Mona_2019NEWLY developed Cyclone Mona will bring the risk of flooding and damaging winds to parts of Fiji later this week.

A tropical low already dumping heavy rain on the region will set the stage for more significant flooding and potential mudslides later in the week.

Locations from Fiji to Wallis and Futuna and Tonga have already been drenched with 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain since the weekend and more heavy rain is expected in the coming days.

Downpours are set to increase on Thursday and Friday as Mona approaches.

This cyclone has winds equal to a tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mona may make a direct hit on multiple islands in the Fiji chain before potentially approaching Tonga.

Conditions will worsen during the day on Friday despite the center of the storm still being well north of Fiji.

Heavy rain and strong winds will continue to batter Fiji on Thursday night and Friday as the cyclone tracks southward toward Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

Rainfall of 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) is possible with an AccuWeather Local StormMax of 450 mm (18 inches) through Sunday.

A prolonged period of strong winds will be possible across Fiji from Friday into the weekend.

Tree damage and power outages are possible during this time with the risk for structure damage depending on the intensity and of the cyclone as it passes near or over the islands.

Downpours will reach Tonga well ahead of Mona with heavy rainfall possible from Thursday into the weekend.

The risk for damaging winds will be dependent on the track of the cyclone; however, the greatest risk appears to be from Sunday into Monday as the storm makes its closest approach.