La Nina to bring more rainfall

Samoa can expect to receive more rainfall than usual in the lead up to the wet season.

So said Principal Scientific Officer of the Samoa Meteorology Division, Silipa Mulitalo, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer about the frequent heavy rainfall lately.

"The available outlook for the upcoming wet season most likely a wetter than normal wet season considering the status of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that is now upgraded to La Nina Alert," Mulitalo said.

"The impacts of La Nina phenomenon brings more rainfall for Samoa which will consequently leads to possible flooding and landslide at vulnerable areas."

Asked if the weather that Samoa has been experiencing for the past few weeks would be considered normal, he said: "The belt of south tropical highs are normally shifted northward and located closely south of our islands during this time of the year, hence why South East winds (Tuaoloa) are dominant during this season.

"However, the rainfall is considered to be above normal for most areas of the island in comparison to the 30 years long term normal (1981-2011). The amount of rainfall received at Apia Station in Mulinuu from the 1st September up to date (16days), is 255.9mm which is way above its normal monthly total rainfall of 145mm," he said.

According to Mr. Mulitalo, the data available from the 1st September to the present day (16 days count), the highest total rainfall recorded from the 586.5mm Togitogiga, followed by Lake Lanuto'o station with 400.5mm and Afulilo recorded 348.5mm.  

"In contrast, a total of 141.8mm rainfall received at Aopo Savaii as the lowest followed by Falelima with 145.8mm . More rainfall are experienced in the southern and highlands in comparison to the western side of Savaii as evident in the data," he said.

"The available outlook for the upcoming wet season most likely a wetter than normal wet season considering the status of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (E.N.S.O) that is now upgraded to La Nina Alert. 

"The impacts of La Nina phenomenon brings more rainfall for Samoa which will consequently leads to possible flooding and landslide at vulnerable areas."

He further explained that this week's weather in terms of precipitation will be passing showers at times in addition to moderate to fresh southeast winds from a High-Pressure System. 

"However, later on in the week when the high pressure moves further east, we are expecting some rainfall activities, possibly heavy, to descend over Samoa by Sunday and Monday of the new week. This is attributed to a trough and light winds," he said.

Mr. Mulitalo also stated that there is a Small Crafts Advisory for all marine waters of Samoa due to high swells and possible strong gusts at times.

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