Cyclone Tam (2006) - Meteorological History

Meteorological History

Tropical Cyclone Tam originated out of tropical depression while located about 370 km (230 mi) to the north-northeast of Fiji on January 6. The system, designated 04F by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) in Nadi, Fiji tracked slowly towards the west. Although the depression was located within an area of low wind shear, little intensification occurred, as a lack of low-level moisture hindered the development of deep convection. By January 9, shower and thunderstorm activity associated with the disturbance increased as it began to interact with the South Pacific Convergence Zone. Another tropical depression, 05F, also became increasingly organized and at one point was forecast to absorb 04F. Following the weakening of Tropical Depression 05F, 04F intensified. Around 2000 UTC on January 11, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert as deep convection persisted around the center of circulation for several hours.

The following day, the RSMC Nadi upgraded Tropical Depression 04F to a tropical cyclone and gave it the name Tam, making it the first named storm of the 2005–06 season. Several hours later, the storm passed close to Niuafo'ou with winds of 65 km/h (40 mph). By 0000 UTC on January 13, the JTWC classified Tam as Tropical Cyclone 06P. Although the storm was tracking towards an area with stronger winds aloft, it was forecast to intensify. Due to the relatively fast movement of the storm, the increasing winds aloft had little effect on the storm, allowing it to intensify and attain winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) around 0600 UTC. However, with both wind shear and the forward motion of the storm continuing to increase, convection rapidly became dislocated from the center. Around 0000 UTC on January 14, Tam entered the area of responsibility of the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre in Wellington, New Zealand. With forward movement estimated at 75 km/h (45 mph) almost due south, the cyclone reached an unusually high latitude as a tropical cyclone. Coinciding with the time when Tam reached 33°S, it transitioned into an extratropical cyclone. The remnants of the storm persisted for several hours before dissipating early on January 15.

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