Time : 03:24 (pm)

March 2017   

CURRENT SITUATION OF ENSO

The tropical Pacific is currently in ‘Neutral’ state - neither El Nino nor La Nina. The sea surface temperature waters are  generally close to average in the equatorial central equatorial region with +1.00C warmer water in the far eastern Pacific and +2.00C.  There is also increased warming anomalies present in  western part of the Pacific and across the south of the equator. All the Nino indices region which are used to  monitor migration of warm sea surface temperature have all increased since January 2017—Nino 3 increased from 0.00C to +0.50C, Nino 3.4 enhanced from –0.30C to 0.00C and Nino 4 remained at –0.10C. Moreover, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has been generally within the neutral range since mid –October 2016. The SOI 90 days value is  +1.3

ENSO OUTLOOK

The climate model surveyed and monitored indicated that there is an increased warming of the Pacific Ocean which also elevated the possibility of El Nino to form later this year. The SOI has also been trending downwards. Although these
factors lead up to El Nino formation; the trade winds and cloudiness near the international dateline do not show any
significant shift from the neutral.  Climate models prediction shows a continuous and steady warming of the central tropical ocean in the coming months with prediction of El Nino threshold to reach by July 2017. However, these predictions are cautiously handled due to low accuracy of models projections at this time of the year.

(El Nino is one major driver of Samoa's rainfall and temperature. El Nino could affect the normal rainfall pattern in Samoa generally resulting in reduced rainfall or drought. Day time temperatures tend to be hotter than normal over the country. Past El Nino events have been one cause of Forest Fires in Asau (North West of Savaii island). Different parts of the country may experience varying rainfall impacts. As a consequence of this rainfall deficit, the following sectors could be severely impacted: Water, Agriculture, Health, Energy (HydroPower), Tourist (Accomodation Facilities) and Forestry.)