Tropical cyclone Tomas is bearing down on Fiji, and is expected to pack a severe punch with winds in the region of 130 mph near its centre. The current warnings are:
A HURRICANE warning remains in force for the eastern half of Vanua Levu, Cikobia, Tavenui, Rabi, Kioa, Yacata, Koro, Gau, Batiki, Nairai, Wakaya, Makogai and nearby smaller islands.
A STORM warning is in force the rest of Vanua Levu, Ovalau, Lakeba, Vanua Balavu, Moala, Matuku, Totoya, Cicia and nearby smaller islands.
A GALE warning is in force for the rest of Fiji
Tropical cyclone Ului is now in the Coral Sea and moving west. The storm is equivalent to a category V hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale (winds of 155 mph near its centre), and I keep a beady eye on its northwestern flank, which could swipe the extreme southeastern islands of Papua New Guinea. Australia does not need to worry as yet. Ului is 900 miles to the east of Queensland, and is expected to veer to the south. Once it resumes a more southwesterly course is the point where we do start to worry. That lies just beyond the scope of the current forecast.