Cyclone Mona to bring rounds of downpours, strong winds to Fiji through the weekend

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 05, 2019, 11:03:13 AM EST


Cyclone Mona will bring rounds of downpours and increasingly strong winds to Fiji through Sunday night.

Mona has already dumped heavy rain on the region and threatens to cause more significant flooding and potential mudslides.

Rain and wind may further increase across Fiji on Sunday when Mona arrives. The storm is expected to maintain its Category 1 tropical cyclone status at this time (the equivalent of a tropical storm).

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The areas of Fiji that endure the rounds of downpours and a direct hit by Mona can record 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) of rain from Friday through the weekend with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 450 mm (18 inches).

With the ground already saturated from recent rain, that amount can easily trigger significant flooding and mudslides.

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The risk of tree damage and power outages, as well as damage to weak structures, will heighten where Mona tracks onshore.

Mona will continue to stir rough seas around the islands, creating dangers for swimmers and operators of small craft. The combination of the persistent gusty winds and pounding seas will cause the risk of coastal flooding to increase at the north- and east-facing beaches of Fiji.

After moving through Fiji, Mona is expected to track to the southwest or west early next week. Depending on its exact track, heavy rain may reach Vanuatu or New Caledonia later in the week.

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