2018–19 South Pacific cyclone season

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2018–19 South Pacific cyclone season
2018-2019 South Pacific cyclone season summary.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedSeptember 26, 2018
Last system dissipatedSeason Ongoing
Strongest storm
 • Maximum winds95 km/h (60 mph)
(10-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure985 hPa (mbar)
Seasonal statistics
Total disturbances5
Total depressions3
Tropical cyclones2
Total fatalitiesUnknown
Total damageUnknown
Related articles
South Pacific tropical cyclone seasons
2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21

The 2018–19 South Pacific cyclone season is the period of the year when most tropical cyclones form within the South Pacific Ocean to the east of 160°E. The season officially runs from November 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019, however a tropical cyclone could form at any time between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 and would count towards the season total. During the season, tropical cyclones will be officially monitored by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) in Nadi, Fiji and the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centers in Brisbane, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand. The United States Armed Forces through the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) will also monitor the basin and issue unofficial warnings for American interests. RSMC Nadi attaches a number and an F suffix to tropical disturbances that form in or move into the basin while the JTWC designates significant tropical cyclones with a number and a P suffix. RSMC Nadi, TCWC Wellington and TCWC Brisbane all use the Australian Tropical Cyclone Intensity Scale and estimate windspeeds over a period of ten minutes, while the JTWC estimated sustained winds over a 1-minute period, which are subsequently compared to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS).

Seasonal forecasts[edit]

Source/Record Tropical
Tropical Cyclone
Record high: 1997–98: 16 1982–83: 10 [1]
Record low: 2011–12:  3 2008–09:  0 [1][2]
Average (1969-70 - 2017-18): 7.1  — [2]
NIWA October 7-11 4 [3]
Fiji Meteorological Service 7-9 2-4 [2]
Region Chance of
above average
Western South Pacific 53% 7 2
Eastern South Pacific 43% 4 0
Source:BOM's South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook.[4]

Ahead of the cyclone season formally starting, the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), New Zealand's MetService and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and various other Pacific Meteorological services, all contributed towards the Island Climate Update tropical cyclone outlook that was released during October 2018.[3] The outlook took into account the ENSO neutral conditions that had been observed across the Pacific and analogue seasons that had ENSO neutral and El Nino conditions occurring during the season.[3] The outlook called for a near-average number of tropical cyclones for the 2018–19 season, with seven to eleven named tropical cyclones, predicted to occur between 135°E and 120°W compared to an average of about 10.[3] At least three of the tropical cyclones were expected to intensify further and become severe tropical cyclones, while it was noted that a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone could occur during the season.[3]

In addition to contributing towards the Island Climate Update outlook, the FMS and the BoM issued their own seasonal forecasts for the South Pacific region.[2][4] The BoM issued two seasonal forecasts for the Southern Pacific Ocean, for their self-defined eastern and western regions of the South Pacific Ocean.[4] They predicted that the Western region between 142.5°E and 165°E, had a 48% chance of seeing activity above its average of 7 tropical cyclones. The BoM also predicted that the Eastern Region between 165°E and 120°W, had a 55% chance of seeing activity above its average of 4 tropical cyclones.[4] Within their outlook the FMS predicted that between seven and nine tropical cyclones, would occur within the basin compared to an average of around 7.1 cyclones.[2] At least two of the tropical cyclones were expected to intensify further and become Category 3 or higher severe tropical cyclones.[2]

Both the Island Climate Update and the FMS tropical cyclone outlooks assessed the risk of a tropical cyclone affecting a certain island or territory.[2][3] The Island Climate Update Outlook predicted that the Austral Islands, American Samoa, the Cook Islands and Samoa had an elevated chance, while the Northern Cook Islands had a normal to elevated chance of being impacted by a tropical cyclone.[3] They also predicted that Fiji, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, the Society and the Solomon Islands all had a near-normal risk of being impacted.[3] The outlook noted that Vanuatu and New Caledonia had a normal to reduced risk of being impacted by multiple tropical cyclones while it was considered unlikely that the Pitcairn Islands, Kiribati and parts of French Polynesia such as the Marquesas Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago would be impacted by a tropical cyclone.[3] The FMS's outlook predicted that Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau, Samoa, Niue, the Cook, Society and Austral Islands had an increased chance of being impacted by a tropical cyclone.[2] Their outlook also predicted that the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, the Pitcairn Islands and Tuamotu Archipelago and the Gambier Islands had a normal chance of being impacted by a tropical cyclone.[2] It was also noted that New Caledonia had a reduced chance of being affected by a tropical cyclone, while tropical cyclone activity near Kiribati and the Marquesas Islands was considered unlikely.[2] It was thought by the FMS that there was an increased risk of Wallis & Futuna, the Cook, Society and the Austral Islands being impacted by at least one severe tropical cyclone, while other areas such as Fiji, New Caledonia, Niue, the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga and Niue had a normal to reduced chance of being impacted by a severe tropical cyclone.[2]

Seasonal summary[edit]

Tropical cyclone scales#Comparisons across basins


Tropical Cyclone Liua[edit]

Category 1 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Liua 2018-09-26 2345Z.jpg Liua 2018 track.png
DurationSeptember 26 (Entered basin) – September 28 (Exited basin)
Peak intensity75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  994 hPa (mbar)

A disturbance which initially formed in the Australian region basin crossed into the South Pacific basin on September 26 and strengthened, and was designated as Tropical Depression 01F by RSMC Nadi.[5] Late on September 26, the storm intensified into a tropical cyclone, and was given the name Liua. Liua is the earliest-forming named tropical cyclone in the South Pacific basin since reliable records began, surpassing 1997's Cyclone Lusi.[6]

Tropical Disturbance 02F[edit]

Tropical disturbance (Australian scale)
02F 2018-11-11 2354Z.jpg 02F 2018 track.png
DurationNovember 11 – November 16
Peak intensityWinds not specified  1003 hPa (mbar)

During November 11, the FMS reported that Tropical Disturbance 02F had developed about 340 km (210 mi) to the north-northeast of Honiara in the Solomon Islands.[7]

Tropical Depression 03F[edit]

Tropical depression (Australian scale)
Temporary cyclone south.svg 03F 2018 track.png
DurationDecember 28 – January 1
Peak intensity55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  998 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Cyclone Mona[edit]

Category 2 tropical cyclone (Australian scale)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Mona 2019-01-06 Suomi NPP.jpg Mona 2019 track.png
DurationDecember 31 (Entered basin) – January 7
Peak intensity95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  985 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Disturbance 05F[edit]

Tropical disturbance (Australian scale)
Temporary cyclone south.svg 05F 2018-19 track.png
DurationDecember 31 – January 2
Peak intensityWinds not specified  998 hPa (mbar)

Storm names[edit]

Within the Southern Pacific a tropical depression is judged to have reached tropical cyclone intensity should it reach winds of 65 km/h, (40 mph) and it is evident that gales are occurring at least halfway around the center. With tropical depressions intensifying into a tropical cyclone between the Equator and 25°S and between 160°E - 120°W named by the FMS. However should a tropical depression intensify to the south of 25°S between 160°E and 120°W it will be named by MetService in conjunction with the FMS. Should a tropical cyclone move into the basin from the Australian region it will retain its original name. The next 10 names on the naming list are listed here below.[8]

  • Liua
  • Mona
  • Neil (unused)
  • Oma (unused)
  • Pola (unused)
  • Rita (unused)
  • Sarai (unused)
  • Tino (unused)
  • Uesi (unused)
  • Vicky (unused)

Season effects[edit]

This table lists all the storms that developed in the South Pacific to the east of longitude 160°E during the 2018–19 season. It includes their intensity on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, duration, name, landfalls, deaths, and damages. All data is taken from the FMS and/or MetService, and all of the damage figures are in 2018 USD.

Name Dates active Peak classification Sustained
wind speeds
Pressure Areas affected Damage
Deaths Refs
Liua September 26 – 28 Category 1 tropical cyclone 75 km/h (45 mph) 994 hPa (29.35 inHg) Solomon Islands None 0
02F November 11 – 16 Tropical disturbance Not specified 1003 hPa (29.62 inHg) Solomon Islands None 0
03F December 28 – January 1 Tropical depression 55 km/h (35 mph) 998 hPa (29.47 inHg) Solomon Islands, Fiji None 0
Mona December 31 – January 7 Category 2 tropical cyclone 95 km/h (60 mph) 985 hPa (29.09 inHg) Solomon Islands, Fiji Minimal 0
05F December 31 – January 2 Tropical disturbance Not specified 998 hPa (29.47 inHg) None None 0
Season aggregates
5 systems September 26 – Season ongoing 95 km/h (60 mph) 985 hPa (29.09 inHg) None 0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Climate Services Division (October 26, 2010). Tropical Cyclone Guidance for Season 2010/11 for the Fiji and the Southwest Pacific (PDF) (Report). Fiji Meteorological Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 27, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "2018–19 Tropical Cyclone Season Outlook [in the] Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre Nadi – Tropical Cyclone Centre (RSMC Nadi – TCC) Area of Responsibility (AOR)" (PDF). Fiji Meteorological Service. October 23, 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 22, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Outlook - October 2018". National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. October 11, 2018. Archived from the original on October 11, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d National Climate Centre (October 11, 2018). "South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Outlook for 2018 to 2019". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  5. ^ "Tropical Disturbance Advisory Number A1". RSMC Nadi. 2018-09-26. Archived from the original on 2018-09-26. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  6. ^ "Liua becomes earliest tropical cyclone on record to form in the South Pacific Ocean". Accuweather.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  7. ^ Tropical Disturbance Summary November 11, 2018 23z (Report). November 11, 2018. Archived from the original on November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  8. ^ RA V Tropical Cyclone Committee (October 11, 2018). Tropical Cyclone Operational Plan for the South-East Indian Ocean and the Southern Pacific Ocean 2018 (PDF) (Report). World Meteorological Organization. pp. I–4&nbsp, – II–9 (9–21). Archived (PDF) from the original on October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.

External links[edit]