Farmers welcome rains as gale warning in force for Tonga

A gale wind warning remains in force in Tonga as heavy rain hit the country today.

But while the kingdom is expecting strong winds Tongatapu locals are celebrating the arrival of plentiful winter rain.

Farmers and growers took to social media to welcome the weather saying it was a blessing.

Some land areas in Tongatapu began to experience significant dryness because there had been no rain for sometime.

A gale warning remains in force for Ha’apai, Tongatapu and ʻEua land areas, Tonga Met Services said today.

A strong wind warning remains in force for Niua and Vavaʻu land areas.

A heavy rain warning and flash flood advisory remain in force for all of Tonga.
It said a low pressure system to the west of the group is expected to move across the group tonight.

Meanwhile an active trough of low pressure lies slow moving across the group. Associated clouds , rain and strong to gale force winds may affect the group.

Forecast to midnight tonight for all Tonga coastal waters.

For the Niuas  and Vava’u  waters:

East to northeast tonight 20-25 knots rising up to 30 knots at times tending north to northwest winds tonight .

Rough seas and a heavy damaging south to southeast swell. Poor visibility in areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

For Tongatapu and ‘Eua:

East to southeast winds 25-30 knots increasing to 30-35 knots this afternoon with momentary gust up to 40 knots in area of squally thunderstorms.

Rough to very rough seas.  A heavy damaging south to southeast swell.

Poor visibility in areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

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