Don't mistaken dry weather for drought - Meteorological Office

The Samoa Meteorological Office says an increase in the number of days of sunshine does not necessarily mean that the country is about to experience a drought.

Assistant CEO of the Meteorology Office, Mulipola Tainau Ausetalia Titimaea, told the Samoa Observer that three to four days of no rainfall should not be translated to mean drought is about to occur. 

“It’s not like when it’s three or four days without rain then it’s called drought. No, that’s not how we calculate the drought, and I think that is how people and farmers are mistaking drought for only a few days of dryness,” he said.

Normally, the wet season is from November to April and while it has been dry for the whole month of March, he added. But that still cannot be called a drought.

Mulipola said the time frame for dry season to develop into a drought is three months straight on below average rainfall and currently, Samoa has only passed one month.

“There is a Samoan word for this kind of weather called 'lavale' (too much sun) and this can also be one of those periods but we will be updated of reports until we have reached the three months,” he added.

The Meteorological Office wishes to advice the public not to mistake the current weather patterns for drought, he said and until Samoa reaches the normal average rainfall before reaching three months, then normality will be restored. 

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