Would there be any drought?
The Samoa Office of Meteorology has advised that the country will know if it will have a drought this year if rainfall is below average for the months of March, April and May.
The MET Chief Executive Officer, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea, told the Samoa Observer that the office monitors below, medium and above average rainfall patterns and they will give an indication as to whether there will be a drought.
He said the rainfall pattern for the whole month of March this year had been below average
The Meteorology Office has issued a heavy rain warning for Samoa.
"HEAVY RAINFALL NOW VALID FOR ALL OF SAMOA," report said.
However, Office of the Meteorology in an interview with Samoa Observer in April 17th 2019, C.E.O Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea explained that if Samoa's rainfall is below average from March to May, it is possible that Samoa will encounter drought.
The measurement for the rainfall by Meteorological Office has three sections. The below average, the medium average and the above average rainfall and Samoa's rainfall throughout the whole of March this year had been below average.
"If the average of rainfall moves away from below average within March, April and May, there will be no drought. But if it's straight three months of below average, that's when we can call it drought," Mulipola said.
Recently in March, a few farmers had been facing a few issues regarding dryness of weather. Samoa Meteorological Office also advised that 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.”
“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.
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.
An attempt to get an interview with the Meteorological Office was not successful but they will have an update scheduled with Samoa Observer on Monday, 20th of May to update of weather conditions.