With Cyclone Amos gone from Samoa, a question some people were asking was, “What happened, was it a miracle?” A number of different sources based in the Pacific and globally posted conflicting reports led to confusion about the situation.
Some of the confusion was because in the Samoa Met Office bulletin it said that the eye of Cyclone Amos was on top of Samoa.
However by 2am on Sunday morning, it had gone.
Assistant CEO Meteorology Division, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea told the Samoa Observer there was no miracle, but the simple explanation was that “Cyclone Amos was not a Category 3 or Category 4 cyclone.
“It’s not a miracle but what happened was that everyone thought that the radius of influence was for a Category 3 or Category 4 cyclone,” he said.
“When we observed the situation, it didn’t have that radius for Category 3 or 4 so that is why we didn’t follow what was predicted for a Category 3 or 4.
“[But] we still maintained that the wind strength will be in a Category 1 or Category 2 level and our tropical cyclone warning was only at the level of Tropical Cyclone Category 2.
“We did indicate in one of our bulletins, bulletin 9 that if the situation warranted, we might issue a Cat 3 and we also gave a time frame that there was a possibility that in the next 12 hours that might change.”
But he went on to say that the cyclone warnings were only up to Category 2.
“When we closely monitored the system it didn’t have characteristics that were indicated by some of the centres in Nadi, Joining Typhoon Centres up North and also for the New Zealand MET Services so we maintained our warnings at the level of Category 2,” he said.
“It wasn’t on Category 3 or Category 4 but there were some other technical terms that you don’t need to know because it’s not for the public to know about those things.
“When Amos reached us, it moved faster and it jumped from seven miles per hour to 20 miles per hour when it touched Savaii.
“It was predicted that it could reach Category 3 or Category 4, but it didn’t.”
He went on to say that what happened on Saturday night was justified but denied that the eye of the cyclone was right on top of Samoa as predicted in Saturday’s weather forecast.
“Last night (Saturday night) was justified as a tropical cyclone because the actual winds surrounding the eye of it were more than 25 to 30 knots.
And that is how we got the name of Tropical Cyclone Amos.
“But it wasn’t a severe tropical cyclone because the eye wasn’t really clear and that is why some people won’t understand because there is special technique to determine where the eye of the cyclone is and definitely the eye was not on top of us.”