Christmas weather projections worry families

Projections by the Samoa Meteorological Office (M.E.T.) of cyclones in the next three months has got some families worried that their plans for Christmas could be affected.

For 71-year-old Telesia Nuumau, Christmas is always a time for a reunion with her children and their families who live abroad.

But the projections by the meteorological officials of two to three cyclones this season has got Mrs. Nuumau worried.

“It’s always been about families and I know some families would feel the same way if the weather of cyclone will have to be a barrier during this time,” she said.

Despite the projections, the Vaitele-based Mrs. Nuumau said she and her children and grandchildren plan to kick off with the reunion celebrations at Christmas despite the plea for caution. 

Fasitoo-tai resident, Faamao Tautala, expressed similar sentiments and added that he hoped the projected cyclones are not strong enough to affect his Christmas plans.

“I’m a very devoted member of our congregation at Fasitoo and I have to say I'm saddened over the joy I had in me that I looked forward to Christmas and if there will be a cyclone, I just hope it won’t be that strong,” he said.

“Let’s just pray. That’s all that counts now. It will be Christmas soon and everyone will look forward again as it’s everyone’s favorite season.”

The M.E.T. Acting CEO, Fuimaono Lameko Talia, told this newspaper recently that the 2019-2020 tropical cyclone season for the Samoa region is expected to increase compared to last season with his office projecting two to three cyclones. 

The two to three cyclones projected is likely to include one Category 3 or stronger cyclone.

The M.E.T. climate outlook for this period also suggest average to above average rainfall for a three-month period from November 2019 to April 2020.

“The tropical cyclones are associated with high winds, storm surges, water spouts and extreme rainfall. If conditions change over the coming months then the tropical cyclone outlook will be updated,” the M.E.T. report stated.

“All communities are urged to remain vigilant, be alert and foremost advance preparedness when a warning is officially announced of an impending tropical cyclone.”

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