Tropical Cyclone Cook Hits New Caledonia Amid Flooding Concerns (Credit: Meteorologist Jessica Olsen)
DISCUSSION: The Pacific Island of New Caledonia braces as Tropical Cyclone Cook makes landfall, after already experiencing flooding concerns amidst increased rainfall this season. Current data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor Hawaii is indicating maximum sustained winds at 75 knots with gusts up to 90 knots. Winds several hours ago topped 85 knots which would put Cook at approximately Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
According to local news, flooding is expected to be the major concern in the area, with just light reports currently of downed trees but no major issues surrounding the storm yet. As deep convective bands are seen within this system, Cook is still showing impressive signs of organization. We can expect that flooding will be an issue as Cook couples itself with warm sea temperatures, with strong outflow, and its bands to provide increased precipitation, however the low vertical wind shear that had been seen in earlier model runs seems to be increasing which may stifle increased development in the system.
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~Meteorologist Jessica Olsen