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MET. Office warns of fake weather forecasts

The Samoa Meteorology Service has warned members of the public to be wary of 'unqualified and inexperienced meteorologists' circulating weather forecasts and tropical cyclone analysis on social media causing unnecessary panic.

This was highlighted in a statement posted by the Met. Office on its Facebook page on Tuesday and comes 48 hours after they downgraded Category 1 Tropical Cyclone Wasi to strong winds before they advised the storm had cleared.

The Met. Office emphasised in its statement that the official source of meteorological reports for Samoa is the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment through its Meteorology Division.

“Samoa, our beloved country, it is the utmost obligation and primary duty of the Samoa Meteorological Service to inexorably commit in providing the best early warning services for our users,” read the public statement.

It added that with the recent tropical low developments in Samoa in the past several weeks, their Office was questioned at times about alarming information being posted on social media.

“There are unqualified and inexperienced meteorologists out there in our communities circulating their own weather forecasts and tropical cyclone analysis. This ignorance and insanity has to stop because it is causing unnecessary panic and fright.

“If you follow the Samoa Meteorological Service on social media to get the latest warning and forecasts we ask that you do not share any of these unfounded and misleading materials.”

The Met. Office added that if members of the public are wondering how the warnings are prepared daily, they should consider the hardworking staff who are tirelessly working around the clock, and are separated from their families during the hazardous weather events.

“While we are expressing our exasperation, we would like to straighten things up a little bit. There is so much inaccuracy in the following image and it’s making many people feeling unwell," the Facebook post stated. “First of all, there is no other tropical cyclone in the South Pacific Ocean following Tropical Cyclone Wasi, at least not this week.

“Secondly, tropical low pressure systems having cyclone characteristics in the South Pacific Ocean are referred to Tropical Cyclones in numbered categories not hurricanes.”

It also stressed that the Atlantic Ocean and Northern Pacific have hurricanes which are not near Samoa.

“Further, tropical cyclone names follow a specific list of names assigned to our region and it does not reveal a Tropical Cyclone named Exenna. 

“Lastly, the blob of convective cloud and rainfall that is circled in purple is attributable to a convergence zone not TC.

“The intention of this post is not to shame any person or group of people but to remind our followers that these posts are inevitable and to share only the authentic information from the one and only official source.”

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