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2007-08 South Pacific cyclone season
2007-08 SPAC season map
First storm formed January 5, 2008
Last storm dissipated Season currently active
Strongest storm Verne – 110 kts, 938 hPa
Total disturbances 12
Tropical depressions 9
Tropical cyclones 6
Severe tropical cyclones 3
Total damages $50 million
Total fatalities 3

The 2007-08 South Pacific cyclone season was an annual event of tropical cyclone formation in the southern Pacific Ocean east of 160E.

Storms

Severe Tropical Cyclone Sepa

Category 4 severe tropical cyclone (FMS)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Sepa 2008 Feb 9 1800z.png Sepa 2007.png
Duration January 5 – January 13
Peak intensity 195 km/h (120 mph) (10-min)  958 hPa (mbar)

A monsoon trough intensified into a tropical depression on January 5 just northwest of Vava'u. The depression moved east over Tonga until turning north on January 6 and becoming a tropical cyclone late that day and the system was named Sepa. Sepa executed a hairpin very slowly, turning south by midday on January 7, steadily intensifying. Early on January 8, Sepa began to more readily intensify and went from a minimal category 3 cyclone to category 4. Nadi reported that the storm peaked in intensity at 06z on January 9 with winds of 105 knots while travelling south-southwest at only a few knots per hour. It turned to the south-southeast near the latitude of Niue and underwent an eyewall replacement cyclone, weakening into a category 3. After the eyewall was replaced, Sepa took advantage of the conducive environment and re-intensified to a category 4 cyclone. Sepa began to accelerate and started to weaken again on January 11. It weakened back into a category 2 by the 12th and transitioned into an extratropical cyclone 24 hours later.

As a depression, Sepa caused damage in Tonga. Reports of flooding and several downed bridges were reported, and there were 2 fatalities on Vava'u. Both Niue and Tonga were bombarded by gale force gusts and high surf for several days while hurricane warnings were issued by RSMC Nadi.

Tropical Disturbance 02F

Tropical depression (FMS)
Clockwise vortex
Duration January 10 – January 11
Peak intensity 45 km/h (30 mph) (10-min)  1002 hPa (mbar)

A weak disturbance was tracked near the island nation of Vanuatu. There were no reports of damage associated with 02F.

Tropical Cyclone Tirol

Category 2 tropical cyclone (FMS)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tirol 2008 Feb 27 0600z.png Tirol 2008.png
Duration January 25 – January 29
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  986 hPa (mbar)

A weak disturbance formed on January 25 northwest of Fiji. The disturbance quickly intensified into a tropical depression by the next day, eventually becoming a category 1 cyclone which received the name Tirol. Tirol passed Fiji at the closest point southwest of Sigatoka on January 27 at around 06z, bringing heavy rains. The storm tracked southeast, becoming a category 2 cyclone for several hours, but vertical wind shear in the area was picking up and Tirol began to weaken. It turned south late on January 28 and weakened into a tropical depression the following day. Tirol became a tropical disturbance while stalling to the southeast of Fiji and weakened to the point that the remnants could no longer be tracked at one specific point.

Tirol brought heavy rains and minor flooding to Fiji causing minimal damages, along with high surf for several days. There was one report of death.

Tropical Cyclone Ursula

Category 1 tropical cyclone (FMS)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Clockwise vortex Ursula 2008.png
Duration February 1 – February 3
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (10-min)  993 hPa (mbar)

An area of low pressure equidistant from Samoa and Niue persisted in the south Pacific ocean while drifting south until it was declared a tropical disturbance, and later, depression, by RSMC Nadi. Within twenty four hours, the depression had intensified enough to be named Ursula. Ursula intensified while beginning to accelerate as it passed the island nation of Niue. The system tracked south, peaking as a category one cyclone, and became extratropical.

Moderate effects from Ursula in Niue were reported, several power lines were downed and some roads were closed due to flooding attributed to Ursula.

Tropical Depression 05F

Tropical depression (FMS)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Clockwise vortex
Duration February 7 – February 9
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  1001 hPa (mbar)

A tropical depression formed over New Caledonia on February 7. The system weakened into a tropical disturbance, travelling southeast until it dissipated on February 9.

Minimal effects in both New Caledonia and Vanuatu were reported.

Tropical Depression 06F

Tropical depression (FMS)
Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Clockwise vortex
Duration February 9 – February 11
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  998 hPa (mbar)

Severe Tropical Cyclone Verne

Category 5 severe tropical cyclone (FMS)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Clockwise vortex Verne 2008.png
Duration February 13 – February 21
Peak intensity 205 km/h (125 mph) (10-min)  938 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Disturbance 08F

Tropical depression (FMS)
Clockwise vortex
Duration March 6 – March 6
Peak intensity 45 km/h (30 mph) (10-min)  1003 hPa (mbar)

Severe Tropical Cyclone Xia

Category 3 severe tropical cyclone (FMS)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Clockwise vortex Xia 2008.png
Duration March 17 – March 22
Peak intensity 120 km/h (75 mph) (10-min)  981 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Depression 10F

Tropical depression (FMS)
Clockwise vortex
Duration March 30 – April 2
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min)  997 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Cyclone Yaka

Category 2 tropical cyclone (FMS)
Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Clockwise vortex 150px
Duration April 5 – April 12
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min)  986 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Disturbance 12F

Tropical depression (FMS)
Clockwise vortex
Duration April 17 – April 17
Peak intensity 45 km/h (30 mph) (10-min)  1000 hPa (mbar)

Season effects

This table lists all the storms that developed in the South Pacific to the east of longitude 160°E during the 2007-08 season. It includes their intensity on the Australian Tropical cyclone intensity scale, duration, name, landfalls, deaths, and damages. All data is taken from RSMC Nadi and/or TCWC Wellington, and all of the damage figures are in 2008 USD.

Storm
Name
Dates active Storm category
at peak intensity
Peak 10-min
sustained winds
Pressure Areas affected Damage
(USD)
Deaths Refs
Sepa January 5 – 13 Category 4 severe tropical cyclone 195 km/h (105 kts) 958 Tonga, Niue 50 million 2
02F January 10 – 11 Tropical Disturbance 45 km/h (25 kts) 1002 Vanuatu
Tirol January 25 – 29 Category 2 tropical cyclone 95 km/h (50 kts) 986 Fiji, Tonga Minimal 1
Ursula February 1 – 3 Category 1 tropical cyclone 75 km/h (40 kts) 993 Niue, Tonga Minimal 0
05F February 7 – 9 Tropical Depression 55 km/h (30 kts) 1001
06F February 9 – 11 Tropical Depression 55 km/h (30 kts) 998
Season Aggregates
3 Systems January 5 – Still Active 105 kts 958 $50 million 3

Storm names

See also: Lists of tropical cyclone names Within the Southern Pacific a tropical depression is judged to have reach tropical cyclone intensity should it reach winds of 65 km/h, (35 kts) and it is evident that gales are occurring at least halfway around the center. When a tropical depression is declared a tropical cyclone it will be given a name from the following list.

  • Sepa
  • Tirol
  • Ursula
  • Verne
  • Xia

Yaka

  • Zele (unused)

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