[Source: Fiji Meteorological Service]
Fiji has been experiencing unusually hot and humid conditions over the last three days, with the Central Division bearing the brunt of it.
Fiji Meteorological Services Acting Director Bipen Prakash attributes this discomforting weather to a persistent northwesterly wind flow carrying warm, moist air masses from the equator.
He says most areas in Fiji experienced maximum temperatures above 31°C yesterday, with the Central Division registering exceptionally high temperatures exceeding 34°C and Lodoni, recorded the highest temperature at 35.6°C on Monday.
Prakash says this exceptional hot condition in the Central Division is due to a process called adiabatic heating.
“There’s a very high moisture level in the atmosphere as well, and together with the heating, the moist air creates a very discomforting environment. This condition is expected to ease a bit in the next couple of days. We expect a change in the wind direction, possibly from later tomorrow or Thursday and probably latest by Friday. And we expect there’s going to be a change in the wing direction to southeasterly, and this should ease the condition that we are experiencing at present.”
Prakash says as the air moves down to lower altitudes after passing the mountain ranges, the pressure increases, which decreases the volume of air and as air is compressed, it heats.
The Acting Director says this is also the reason why normally the Western Division tends to be hotter than the Central Division when the dominant southeasterly winds prevail over the county.