AFAP manages the Australian-Pacific Centre for Emergency and Disaster Information (APCEDI) to provide news on natural disaster events in the Asia-Pacific region and to help with rapid disaster response assessment. This was originally a communications network that was activated during a disaster to disseminate information to our Asia-Pacific NGO offices. Now APCEDI has a much wider application across the Asia-Pacific Region.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

APCEDI Alert SP/NC Jasper #2-2009: Cyclone Jasper Intensifying Northwest of New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie)

The RSMC-Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre are issuing guidance on Cyclone Jasper, tropical cyclone that is intensifying northwest of New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie).

This system has been intensifying and steadily moving toward New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie) for the last 24 hours. Meteo France has issued an 'orange alert (l'alerte cyclonique orange)'for all of the main island of Grande Terre and the small island of Belep. A'yellow alert (pré-alerte jaune)' has been issued for the Iles Loyauté including Ouvéa, Lifou, Maré and Tiga as well as the Ile des Pins.

These alerts are specifically detailed below:

L'Alerte Cyclonique Orange: Soyez très vigilant; des phénomènes météorologiques dangereux sont prévus ; tenez-vous au courant de l'évolution météorologique et suivez les conseils émis par le Haut-Commissariat. Dans le cas des alertes cycloniques, l'alerte cyclonique orange signifie qu'une dépression tropicale forte ou un cyclone menace le Territoire dans les 24 heures.

Pré-Alerte Jaune: Soyez attentifs, si vous pratiquez des activités sensibles au risque météorologique ; des phénomènes habituels dans la région, mais occasionnellement dangereux (ex: temps modérément pluvieux, averses localement fortes, vent soutenu avec rafales) sont en effet prévus; tenez-vous au courant de l'évolution météorologique. Dans le cas des alertes cycloniques, le jaune correspond à la Pré-alerte.

Jasper is moving southeast at 14 kt (26 km/hr) and is approaching hurricane force strength, which is Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This equates to Category 2 strength on the Australian Cyclone Severity Scale.

Models are somewhat divergent over the exact course of Jasper into tomorrow. Most models are showing it continuing to approach Northern New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie), but some are now showing it stalling off the North Coast of Grande Terre. The next 12 hours will be critical in determining how close the approach Jasper makes to the main island.

If Jasper stalls near the coast, it has the potential to dump large amounts of rainfall over Grande Terre especially in the north. Heavy rain showers are already being reported in many areas. Jasper is also predicted to slowly strengthen as it approaches New Caledonia. Jasper is increasingly becoming a serious threat to New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie), especially in terms of flooding and rainfall. All interests in New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie) should monitor the storm carefully and follow all government advice.

APCEDI will continue to monitor the progress of this system.
Kevin Vang
APCEDI Coordinator

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