The Fiji Metrological Services says Tropical depression 03F was located about 470km west-northwest of Rotuma and about 860km northwest of Nadi at 7am today.
TD03F is expected to intensify further into a category 1 tropical cyclone in the next 12 to 18 hours with average winds of 65km/hr and momentary gusts to 90km/hr close to the centre.
A gale warning is now in force for Rotuma, Yasawa group, northern Viti Levu from Ba, Rakiraki to Tailevu north, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, a tropical cyclone alert remains in force for Lau and Lomaiviti group.
TDO3F is currently moving east-southeast at about 22km/hr and is expected to start tracking southeast in the next 6 hours.
On the projected path, TD03F centre is expected to be located about 220km west-southwest of Rotuma or about 560km north-northwest of Nadi at 7pm today and about 170km north-northeast of Yasawa-i-Rara or about 210 km northwest of Labasa at 7am tomorrow morning.
On its anticipated development and track, the system may bring damaging gale force winds over Rotuma from afternoon today and over Yasawa group, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands and northern Viti Levu from tonight and over Lau and Lomaiviti group from tomorrow.
A strong wind warning remains in force for the rest of Fiji land areas.
A heavy rain warning remains in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, yasawa and Mamanuca group, Lau and lomaiviti group and eastern half of Viti Levu.
Close to the centre, the 10 minute average winds is estimated to be about 45km/hr.
Meanwhile, an active trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain lies slow moving over Fiji.