Severe Tropical Cyclone Victor
WRL staff have been keeping a close eye on Severe Tropical Cyclone Victor, as it tracks through the Southern Group of the Cook Islands. TC Victor is currently a Category 3 system, and is tracking to the west of Rarotonga having already brought large swell and wind to the island of Palmerston. While initially forecast to intensify to Category 4 status, it now looks like Victor will turn west and track away from the Cook Islands before decreasing in intensity. Another near miss for the Island Capital.
In 2013 WRL completed a detailed investigation for the north coast of Rarotonga, which modelled and mapped the impacts from storm surge and waves generated by events such as TC Victor. Had this system tracked slightly further to the east, it would undoubtedly have caused significant damage to coastal infrustructure and development along the north coast. While the strong El Niño conditions currently being experienced would typically bring a larger number of cyclones through the Cook Islands, hopefully this is the last for the year.