Possible cyclone forming near Vanuatu

A tropical storm below the Solomon Islands could become a cyclone overnight as it heads towards Vanuatu.

According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, this morning a tropical disturbance was situated just south of Solomon Islands, moving east north east towards Vanuatu, at 22 kilometres per hour.

Satellite imagery shows the system has already developed the cyclonic spiral shape and forecasters predict it is likely to become a cyclone within the next 18 hours before reaching Vanuatu.

Forecasters expect it to track south east and down towards New Caledonia.

Two other tropical depressions are also circling the region - one storm is over Tonga but is forecast to weaken.

Forecasters are also keeping an eye on another storm near Rotuma in Fiji in case it too strengthens in the coming days.