Bob McDavitt's ideas for sailing weather around the South pacific

03 May 2017


The tropical depression that has been lingering around to northeast of Vanuatu got its act together last might and is now a Cat 2 tropical cyclone called TC DONNA.

It is heading southwest towards Sola in northern Vanuatu where it should arrive around 5pm Thursday local and intensify of Cat 3, with winds near centre around 64 to 85 knots.

For an updated track map for TC DONNA see

On Friday, TC DONNA is expected to maintain Cat 3 and turn south-southeast-wards. If it continues its current pace, TC DONNA at this stage, is likely to reach the Port Vila area by late Sunday. Then it may start to travel faster and weaken passing the Tanna area around Monday.

Too far away at this stage to be sure, but next week as TC DONNA leaves the tropics, one likely scenario is for it be captured by the trough which is likely then to be moving from the Tasman Sea towards NZ. This should take its remains south-eastwards towards NZ's East Cape by around Friday 12 May.

Any vessels on their way from NZ to Fiji at present should aim for a waypoint east of their direct path so that they may be in position when the winds around Fiji turn to be from the NE early next week. the trough that contains DONNA is not expected to get past 175E until after Wed 10 May

Any vessels stopping at Minerva are advised that a large HIGH is now travelling east from the Tasman Sea across NZ this weekend and then off to east of NZ early next week. This HIGH enhances the trade winds on its northern side, so there is likely to be a period of easterly winds at Minerva around 20 gust 30 knots (maybe a bit more) from end of Friday 5 May to Thursday 11 May, Then a trough on Friday 12 /Sat 13/Sun 14 May.

Bob McDavitt

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