Meteorological Division forecast cyclones
The 2018-2019 Samoa Tropical Cyclone (T.C.) Season Outlook released by the Samoa Meteorology Division (M. E. T.) has forecast two or three tropical cyclones.
Speaking during an interview with the Samoa Observer, Samoa Meteorology Division director, Tainau Mulipola Titimaea, said that the country is at risk of experiencing two to three cyclones that could pass within a 400 km radius of the country.
The Office also forecasted that there will be at least one tropical cyclone that would reach Category 3-strength or more. But the outlook right now is that E.N.S.O (El Niño/Southern Oscillation) is in neutral conditions within the region.
“Still the risks were higher than last year’s one to two cyclone outlook” he said.
Currently Samoa is at an elevated risk level to expect two or three cyclones due to the progress into an El Nino phase (warm phase) of the Southern Oscillation.
Samoa is very small in the geographical sense and that makes the country vulnerable to that, added Mr Titimaea.
The El Nino affects increased rise in temperature of the tropical Pacific Ocean’s sea surface as well as the sub surface. This is evident in the weakening of trade winds, according to the El Nino Southern Oscillation Outlook.
The potential of the El Nino developing could impact rainfall and see it go below normal throughout Samoa, eventually leading to water shortage and drought.
“We got ingredients to developing tropical cyclones quite close to us is because if you are well aware, an El Nino is really the driving force behind the forms,” he added.
The Tropical Cyclone Outlook will be monitored and updated whenever there is a change of the conditions.
The public is advised to remain alert and make necessary preparations in advance when a warning is officially issued for an approaching cyclone.