Reduced cyclone activity forecast

By Marc Membrere 16 October 2021, 9:29PM

Samoa is forecast to have a reduced risk of being struck by a tropical cyclone this coming season, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research has projected.

In a Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the current month, the assessment by the N.I.W.A. of possible named tropical cyclone activity indicates 9 to 12 named tropical cyclones could occur in the Southwest Pacific basin region between November 2021 and April 2022.

“For this season, normal-to-elevated [Tropical Cyclone] activity is expected for countries and territories around the Coral Sea, including Vanuatu, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea," the outlook reads.

"Tonga and Fiji are expected to have normal [Tropical Cyclone] activity.

“Near normal [Tropical Cyclone] activity is expected for Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau and Niue. 

"Normal-to-elevated [Tropical Cyclone] activity is expected for the Austral Islands, while normal-to-below normal [Tropical Cyclone] activity is forecast for the Society Islands. 

"Tuvalu and most other islands to the east of the International Date Line, including the remainder of French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Samoa and American Samoa, are expected to have reduced [Tropical Cyclone] risk for the coming season."

And while the NIWA projected a drop in risk in some locations, it said cyclones are still expected for countries that typically experience one or more named cyclones per year.

“At least three severe cyclones reaching Category 3 or higher might occur anywhere across the region, so all communities should remain prepared.”

Tropical cyclones are ranked in strength from 1 to 5 with the most intense storm activity is classed as a 5.

Samoa’s National Statement on Tropical Cyclone and Climate Seasonal Outlook 2020 – 2021, issued last year, forecast that Samoa was likely to have up to one cyclone this season. 

The report noted the possible cyclone passing within a 400 kilometre radius of Samoa with the possibility that it may reach Category 3 status or greater, and the risk during that season was categorised as normal.

The Assistant Chief Executive Officer (A.C.E.O) of the Samoa Meteorology Division, Afaese Dr. Luteru Tauvale has been contacted for a comment and an update on Samoa’s yet to be issued statement on tropical cyclone and climate seasonal outlook for 2021 – 2022.

By Marc Membrere 16 October 2021, 9:29PM
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