Perfect conditions create wild weather

Recent thunderstorms are the result of the perfect combination of ingredients for wild weather, the Samoa Meteorology Division says.

Heavy rain in recent days has been accompanied by bursts of thunder and lightning, including a loud thunderclap that could be clearly heard at 5pm on Monday. 

But forecasters note that such weather is not uncommon for this time of year, nor any cause for concern. 

The Principal Scientific Officer of the Samoa Meteorology Division, Silipa Mulitalo, told the Samoa Observer on Tuesday the weather bureau had observed lightning mainly to the northern districts of Upolu and Savaii, caused primarily by surface heating.

Mr. Mulitalo noted that thunderstorms since Sunday afternoon had been quite prolonged for the past two days. Rain combined with the recent heating of the earth's surface by sunshine created all the necessary "ingredients" for thunderstorms, he said. 

Mr. Mulitalo said that thunderstorms over the highlands are common at this time of the year because of the sea breeze.

"These activities happen and can happen any time of the year and it depends on the right condition," Mr. Mulitalo said.

He said that on Monday the MET Office observed cloud-to-ground lightning activities on their detection system but mainly over northern waters.

Mr. Mulitalo said that some lightning strikes on land but it was mainly cloud to cloud mainly on the northern side of the island.

Mr. Mulitalo said that the weather activity was normal; he noted a thunderstorm early last year had caused a power outage in Upolu after affecting the Fiaga Power Station.

A cloud-to-ground lightning strike had occurred in April 2020 at Alafua which occurred at 10.30pm on the day in question and was heard by neighboring villages.

Mr. Mulitalo said that if there were any significant impacts from Monday's activities they would have been informed about it.

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