Tropical Cyclone Warning System
Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department’s (VMGD) Tropical Cyclone Warning System is categorized into four levels. VMGD uses these levels to disseminate Tropical Low and Tropical Cyclone Information to the public of Vanuatu if and when a Tropical Cyclone enters Vanuatu’s Area, and is a threat to any island of Vanuatu.
Vanuatu’s Area (10S to 23S and 160E to 175E)
Information – An information Bulletin contains information on a tropical low or a tropical cyclone in Vanuatu’s Area, but is not a threat to any islands of Vanuatu. The bulletin is issued twice a day, at 7am and 7pm. If the System is a Tropical Cyclone, the information will contain its position, intensity, the distance from the center to a nearest island of Vanuatu and a 48 hour forecast track.
Advisory – Advisories are bulletins issued at least 36 hours before the likely onset of gales or stronger winds to any islands of Vanuatu. The Bulletins will be maintained until such time as specific warnings become necessary, or the threat to Vanuatu subsides. This bulletin is issued every six hours.
Cyclone Warning – Warning bulletins are issued when Gale, Storm or Hurricane winds are expected to affect any islands of Vanuatu within 24 hours. The warning bulletin is issued every 3 hours.
Flash Warning - If available information indicates a sudden and substantial change in the situation of a TC System, and invalidating the current warning, then a Flash Warning bulletin will be issued as soon as possible to inform users of the sudden change in the situation.
The Information contained in the TC Information, Advisory and Warning Bulletin will contain the time of issuance, the name of the system if it is named, the position of the system in latitude and longitude as well as the letter and number within the Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map. The bulletins will also contain the direction of movement, the intensity of the system and a 48 hour forecast position.
A Forecast Track Map will also be made available when an Information, Advisory or Warning is issued. The map will contain the previous position of the system as well as the forecast position for the next 48 hours.
National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Colour Alerts for Tropical Cyclones
The Tropical Cyclone Bulletins will contain the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Colour Alerts to simplify warnings issued to the public. The descriptions of the Colour Alerts are as follows:
1. Blue Alert – The cyclone threat (Gales) may affect the area within 24 hours
2. Yellow Alert- Gale winds are expected within 12 hours
3. Red Alert – Cyclone Impact with risk of destructive winds is imminent
Tropical Cyclone Category System
The Tropical Cyclone Category System, based on the Australian Standard, will also be stated in the information, advisory and warning bulletins. This is to simplify the intensity of winds mentioned in the bulletins.
CATEGORY 1(tropical cyclone) Negligible house damage. Damage to some garden crops, trees and local old thatch house. A Category 1 cyclone's strongest winds are GALES with typical gusts over open flat land of 90 - 125 km/h.
CATEGORY 2(tropical cyclone) Minor house damage. Significant damage to signs, trees and local thatch houses.Heavy damage to some crops.Risk of power failure. A Category 2 cyclone's strongest winds are DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 125 - 164 km/h.
CATEGORY 3(severe tropical cyclone) Some roof and structural damage. Some local thatch houses destroyed. Power failures likely. A Category 3 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 165 - 224 km/h.
CATEGORY 4(severe tropical cyclone) Significant roofing loss and structural damage. Many thatch houses destroyed and blown away. Dangerous airborne debris.Widespread power failures. A Category 4 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of 225 - 279 km/h.
CATEGORY 5(severe tropical cyclone) Extremely dangerous with widespread destruction. A Category 5 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds with typical gusts over open flat land of more than 280 km/h.
Other information and Warnings associated with Tropical Low and Tropical Cyclones
Coast Marine Forecast and Warning
Coastal Marine Forecasts (~ 50KM from Coast) and associated Warning will continue to be routinely issued during a cyclone event.
High Seas Forecast and Warnings
The High Seas Forecast will continue to be routinely issued, including associated warning during a tropical cyclone event.
How to navigate the website to view a TC Information, Advisory or Warning
To View the current information of a Tropical Cyclone or a Tropical Low, visit the TC Information page
To view the current Advisory of a Tropical Cyclone or a Tropical low, visit the TC Advisory page
To view the current Tropical Cyclone Warning or a Tropical Low, visit the TC Warning page
Addition information, including the list of Names for Tropical Cyclones in the South West Pacific, can be found by clicking here.