Samoa can expect more heavy rainfall

Samoa can expect more heavy rainfall, more often causing flash floods during its wet season in the future, says the Acting Assistant C.E.O., Tile Tofaeno. 

And the weather office is warning the public to heed all weather bulletins issued by the office so that they can take every necessary precaution, in order to keep their families and properties safe. 

Tile was responding to questions on whether there have been significant changes in Samoa’s climate, especially with the continuous rainfall experienced around the country over the past few days. 

Referring to the Climate Risk Profile for Samoa report in 2007, Tile said there have been no significant changes in rainfall as it is constant from 1950-2010, but this has changed in the years after. 

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“In the past looking at the rainy period, when it rains, it rains every day, but in portions. But now if you look at the data, it can be raining in the first two days, then it’s dry, and one rainfall event can be very severe, causing flash floods,” he said to the Samoa Observer, highlighting the updated projections in the Pacific Climate Change Science Programme (P.C.C.S.P.) report of 2011. 

“And we are still collecting data now to look at the trends, if there are any significant changes."

“Rainfall is being looked at a monthly base, but there has been no change, but when it falls, a one-day fall is quite high. In the past, if you look at the climate risk profile, the return period is high, not compared to now, so that’s why if you look at what’s written in 2007 and what’s written in 2011, you can see the trend. We need more data to compile and revise more updates now.”

The P.C.C.S.P. report states that on average 75 per cent of total annual rainfall is received in the wet season. Average wet season rainfall amounts to approximately 350 mm per month. On average, rainfall is about 150 mm per month in the dry season. 

There is uncertainty on rainfall projections as model results are not consistent, however, projections suggest a decrease in dry season rainfall and increase in wet season rainfall over the course of the 21st century. 

Increased wet season rainfall is expected due to the projected intensification of the South Pacific Convergence Zone, which lies over Samoa and Fiji, it said. 

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