This means that there is a 75% chance of at least 2 cyclones to occur during the cyclone season.
Although historical records indicate there could be a low chance of severe tropical cyclones occurring this season, Tongans are being advised to expect the likelihood of at least one severe cyclone occurring due to climate variability brought about by global warning.
Any tropical cyclones passing close to the country, associated active cloud and rain bands may occasionally affect Tonga with marked rainfall and possible flooding, including sea flooding of low‐lying coastal areas.
With the expectation of tropical cyclone formation (genesis) to lie east of the Dateline, there is high chance that any tropical cyclone affecting Tonga would approach from the Northwestern and Northern sector.
About seven to nine named Tropical Cyclones are expected for the South West Pacific in 2018/2019 season.
This is consistent with some pre-season traditional weather indicators e.g. moderate to heavy flowering and fruiting of breadfruit.
The cyclone season started yesterday and will end on 30 April, 2019.
The peak time for the occurrence of tropical cyclones in Tonga is from January to March with most events occurring in February.
Photo file. The Times Caption: Damage caused by Cyclone Gita which hit Tonga in February 2018