Meteorological Division forecast "above normal" rainfall

The Samoa Meteorological Division is forecasting more “above normal” rainfall for the first month of the new year and there could be a repeat of the 18 December 2020 flash floods if it rains continuously. 

The Meteorological Division’s Principal Scientific Officer (Climate Services), Faapisa Aiono, told the Samoa Observer on Tuesday that the country can expect some convective activities late Wednesday evening into Thursday and they are looking at issuing severe weather information bulletins such as a heavy rain advisory or warning this week.

For the overall forecast for January, she said La Nina is well established so generally there will be above normal rainfall for the month, especially in light of the fact that Samoa is now in its wet season when more rainfall is expected.

As for the capital Apia, the normal rainfall for the month of January is 423mm. But with the past events in December, rain for a day covers the monthly total, which is why it was counted as a severe event according to Ms Aiono.

She added that recent weather events like the 18 December flash floods could occur again if it rains consistently.

"The outlook that we issued is zero to one that's within the 400km for Samoa so up to now there's no cyclone that passed through so Tropical Cyclone Zazu and Tropical Cyclone Yasa they were never within the 400km so those are not counted as tropical cyclones for Samoa," Ms Aiono reiterated.

However, the two cyclones are counted in the cyclone outlook for the region. 

With the past few days being sunny and rainy, Ms. Aiono explained that these are very normal conditions right.

In terms of the public’s preparation, she explained that people should be aware of the forecast that the Meteorology Division issues, be well informed and keep updated with the information on their Samoa Meteorology Division page and website.

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