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Old 04-06-2009, 11:02   #1
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How Bad Is S.Pacific Storm Season?

Wondering if anyone has experience with the summer months in the South Pacific, Tonga specifically? Cyclones? I am will be arriving out there in December, which seems like it is at the beginning of the "bad" weather season. I am just wondering how "bad" bad really is. Cyclones and South Pacific weather in general are very new to me.

Any info would be great.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:23   #2
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Bad can be Really Bad !!! The results of severe weather conditions caused by a Cyclone can be catastrophic.

Cyclone season in Tonga is between October/November through April/May. Tropical storms and cyclones may also occur in other months.

Emergency updates from the Tongan National Emergency Management Office are transmitted on radio station A3Z AM at frequency 1017, which is transmitted to all island groups.

Cyclone and storm information for the Pacific Ocean region is available from:

USA Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center
https://metoc.npmoc.navy.mil//jtwc.html

USA National Weather Service Forecast Office
National Weather Service Pacific Region Headquarters

Fiji Meteorological Service
Fiji Meteorological Service

Asia-Pacific Centre for Emergency and Disaster Information
APCEDI Asia-Pacific Disaster Alerts

World Meteorological Organisation Severe Weather Information Centre
Severe Weather Information Centre

Humanitarian Early Warning Service
Early Warning Web Service, Storms Watch

Australian Gov’t Travel Bulletins
Hurricanes - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel Bulletin

Good luck!
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:19   #3
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Get yourself in the mood with a copy of John Caldwell's book, Desperate Voyage. It's a real-life description of his solo voyage from Panama across (well, almost across) the Pacific. He describes his experience with a hurricane. Though ship-wrecked, he survived to eventually reach Australia.


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Old 04-06-2009, 12:25   #4
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Thanks GordMay!!!!! That is great information! I love this site. So glad I found it!
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:31   #5
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CF member NoTies is, I believe, a Kiwi who is cruising the So. Pacific and he chooses to sit out cyclone season in Fiji, rather than running south to NZ or Australia, the usual pattern. You might read his posts and/or PM him to pick his brain as to his reasons for choosing to do it that way.

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Old 04-06-2009, 16:16   #6
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Fiji is generally recognised as the best place to be for cyclone season due to the multitude of mangrove anchorages and several good marinas. Neiafu harbour in Tonga would be my next pick due to the high surrounding land and availability of good cyclone moorings. Waka made a direct hit on Neiafu 2001 before they had upgraded their moorings and very little damage occurred.
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Old 04-06-2009, 16:50   #7
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I presume you will be arriving from the US??? Careful route planning and weather observation will be paramount. You have the option of sticking north of the line and heading south to Tonga at the right time.
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Old 04-06-2009, 16:56   #8
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He's actually flying to Tonga to take possession of a vessel he's buying in situ, Pete. Until he and his First Mate drop down out of the clouds to land, they'll be thousands of feet above the So. Pacific weather. See Newb - Starting in Tonga !

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Old 04-06-2009, 16:59   #9
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That's even easier :-) What is the name of the boat he's buying??? I might know it.
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Old 04-06-2009, 17:09   #10
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I'm not sure, Pete. It's a 1989 J/33. On his Critique My Blog! thread, he gives a link to his blog. The name of the boat may be on there somewhere.

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Old 04-06-2009, 21:38   #11
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You don't want to be caught out in one, any more than yo uwant to be caught in a Caribbean hurricane.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:08   #12
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Name of the boat is "Lobo." Thanks for all the help, guys. I really appreciate it.
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