Tropical Cyclone Uesi to bring downpours to New Caledonia before turning toward Australia
Tropical Cyclone Uesi strengthened into a powerful storm system on Tuesday as it continued to batter New Caledonia with heavy rain and strong winds.
Uesi is currently a Category 2 storm on the Fiji cyclone scale with winds equal to a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
The storm developed into a Category 1 tropical cyclone and was given the name Uesi by the Fiji Meteorological Service on Sunday.
Occasional tropical downpours are expected to continue across the Vanuatu Islands into Wednesday as the storm tracks away to the southwest.
The region has been soaked by 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain since Saturday. Any additional rainfall can lead to flooding problems.
Low wind shear and warm water along Uesi's path through Wednesday will allow the storm to remain a dangerous tropical cyclone.
Uesi is forecast to remain a Category 3 storm as it tracks just west of New Caledonia into Wednesday.
Uesi has already unloaded heavy rainfall totaling more than 200 mm (8 inches) on parts of western New Caledonia.
"Uesi will bring additional bands of heavy rain and strong wind, especially to northern New Caledonia," stated AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.
While the worst conditions are expected Tuesday into Wednesday, parts of northern and western New Caledonia have already reported more than 200 mm (8 inches) of rainfall.
This satellite image shows Uesi spinning west of New Caledonia early Wednesday local time. (Image/CIRA RAAMB)
Total rainfall of 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) will be common across the island with the north and west likely to be hardest hit.
Uesi is forecast to continue moving toward the southwest into the middle of this week.
Residents in eastern Australia will have to monitor this system for potential impacts into the weekend.
There remains potential for this system to pass near the coast of New South Wales, according to Douty.
This area has already received flooding rainfall in recent days with some locations reporting more than three months of rainfall in only four days.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com for the latest updates on this storm and your forecast.Report a Typo