Tropical Cyclone “Judy” formed on February 26, 2023, over the South Pacific Ocean and is now moving SW over the northern Vanuatu Islands. A Red Alert is in effect for Torba, Sanma, and Penama. This is the 4th named storm of the 2023 South Pacific cyclone season.

At 12:00 UTC on February 27 (23:00 LT), the center of Tropical Cyclone “Judy” was located about 200 km (120 miles) NNR of Vanua Lava and 320 km (200 miles) N of Maewo.

The maximum winds close to the center were estimated at 95 km/h (59 mph) and the system was moving W at 11 km/h (6.8 mph).

Damaging gale force winds of 63 – 87 km/h (39 – 54 mph) are expected to affect the provinces of Torba, Penama, Sanma and Malampa tonight and tomorrow.

Judy is forecast to move SSW while strengthening and passing very close to the Banks Islands (NE Vanuatu) on the morning of February 28 and to cross the central and southern islands (Epi, Efate, Erromango and Tanna) on February 28 and 29.

Heavy rainfalls are expected over the northern provinces of Vanuatu with flash flooding expected in low-lying areas, and areas close to the river banks, including coastal flooding later tonight (LT).

Seas will become rough to very rough with heavy swells expected over northern and parts of the central waters of Vanuatu.

A Red Alert is in effect for Torba, Sanma, and Penama, a Yellow Alert for Malampa province, and Blue for Shefa and Tafea provinces.

People throughout the affected regions are advised to continue to listen to Radio Vanuatu and all other Radio Outlets to get the latest warning on this system.