19 Nov 2014

Tonga fears severe cyclone season

2:19 pm on 19 November 2014

The Tonga Meteorological Service warns that the kingdom could be hit by a strong cyclone this season.

The service says this year's weather conditions are similar to those that preceded cyclones in the past.

Director 'Ofa Fa'anunu says traditional knowledge shows when severe drought conditions are experienced, enhanced tropical cyclone activity is expected.

"We have looked at sea surface temperatures and conditions of the atmosphere right now and we have compared it to seven previous seasons in the past. From those statistics we have come up with an outlook of two to three cyclones to affect Tonga and with the possibility of even one of them being severe."

The Pacific region has been forecast to experience six to ten cyclones from now until April.