Met Office cautions about La Nina

Samoa has been cautioned to expect more rainfall in the coming months as a result of La Nina.

The warning comes from the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Meteorology Division, Fa'apisa Aiono.

La Niña is the name given to the phenomenon where the trade winds become stronger, enhancing the warm pool in the western Pacific  and causing the sea surface temperatures in the Central and eastern Pacific become cooler.

Samoa is a few weeks away from entering its wet season which is from November to April. This usually brings normal rainfall but with La Nina, it’s expected to be above normal rainfall.

The pattern also affects the frequency of expected tropical cyclones. While they become fewer, they are expected to be a lot stronger.

“People should start preparing for what is expected of La Nina which is usually higher than normal rainfall which can be very severe at times,” Ms. Aiono said.

“Not only families, farmers, ministries like the Agriculture and Fisheries should also start preparing for extreme rain and weather this season and to be prepared for potential disasters.

“In terms of cyclones, the numbers of cyclones is expected to reduce but not their strength. They get stronger during La Nina.”

For now, she urges everyone to invest in a raincoat or an umbrella.

Ms. Aiono said La Nina is already affecting the weather patterns in Samoa.

“I think the main thing for people to be aware of is that La Nina brings more rainfall for Samoa so if you get to see the pattern today, there is also an impact of La Nina these days hence why we (sometimes) have so much rainfall,” she said.

“Samoa is moving into it’s wet season and normally heavy rainfall is expected but with the impact of La Nina, we will be looking at above normal rainfall.”

Flash flooding for low-lying areas is expected.

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