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Pacific ENSO Update

2nd Quarter, 2009 Vol. 15 No. 2


RMI Flag Republic of the Marshall Islands: The rainfall throughout most of the atolls of the RMI was below normal during the 1st Quarter of 2009, with the northern atolls especially dry. The 3-month total of 17.31 inches at Majuro WSO was 76% of its normal. In the northern RMI, Kwajalein, Utirik, and Wotje were very dry with 50%, 21%, and 37% of their normal 3-month totals, respectively. In late April, water was delivered by ship to the island of Utirik. The municipal water supply on Majuro has been at low reserve levels for the past few months. For several weeks during March and April, the WSO Guam issued a special weather statement to urge water conservation in the RMI. Recent rains on Majuro have helped to alleviate dry conditions in the south.

Republic of the Marshall Islands Rainfall Summary 1st Quarter 2009

Station   Jan. Feb. Mar. 1st Qtr
Predicted
RMI Central Atolls (6°N - 8°N)
Majuro WSO
Rainfall (inches)
6.26
6.96
4.09
17.31
19.87
% of Normal
74%
113%
49%
76%
85%
Laura*
Rainfall (inches)
6.36
4.62
5.32
16.30
19.87
% of Normal
79%
67%
63%
71%
85%
Alinglaplap*
Rainfall (inches)
9.46
4.15
4.81
18.42
19.87
% of Normal
117%
60%
57%
79%
85%
RMI Southern Atolls (South of 6 °N)
Jaluit*
Rainfall (inches)
6.76
6.57
4.80
18.13
22.21
% of Normal
84%
96%
57%
79%
95%
RMI Northern Atolls (North of 8°N)
Kwajalein
Rainfall (inches)
1.84
2.37
1.78
5.99
10.14
% of Normal
40%
73%
43%
50%
80%
Wotje*
Rainfall (inches)
0.79
1.61
1.70
4.10
10.14
% of Normal
16%
55%
41%
37%
80%
Uterik*
Rainfall (inches)
0.78
0.82
0.56
2.16
10.14
% of Normal
20%
30%
16%
21%
80%
Predictions made in 4th Quarter 2008 Pacifc ENSO Update newsletter.
* Long term normal is not established for these sites
**Estimated

Climate Outlook: Normally, La Niña is considered to be beneficial (or at least not harmful) to the RMI as it nearly eliminates the threat of a damaging tropical cyclone, and normal rainfall is typically experienced throughout the region. The persistent La Niña conditions over the past two years have altered that perception somewhat, as rainfall has been substantially deficient on some of the northern atolls to the point of requiring conservation and delivery of water. Also, elevated sea level related to La Niña, in combination with episodes of high surf, has resulted in several instances of destructive inundation and severe coastal erosion.

The dry season in the RMI is typically centered on the months of January, February and March, and amounts of rainfall become progressively lower the further north one travels. The normal monthly rainfall on Majuro is less than 10 inches for the three months of January, February and March. During April the monthly average increases to over 10 inches, and remains over 10 inches for all subsequent months of the year. Further north at Kwajalein, all months between December and June feature a monthly average of less than 10 inches, with a minimum of 3.23 inches in February. There are already signs that the rains are increasing in the RMI, and rainfall amounts from May onward should be adequate for fresh water supplies. A normal rainy season is anticipated.

Forecast rainfall for the RMI from April 2009 through March 2010 is as follows:

Inclusive Period
% of Long-Term Average Rainfall /
Forecast Rainfall (inches)
S. of 6° N
6° N to 8° N
N. of 8° N 
April - June 2009
(End of Dry Season)
95%
(32.22 inches)
90%
(30.53 inches)
75%
(18.83 inches)
July - September 2009
(Onset of Rainy Season)
100%
100%
95%
October - December 2009
(Rainy Season)
100%
100%
100%
January - March 2010
(Dry Season)

100%
100%
90%

Forecast rainfall quantities represent BEST ESTIMATES given the probabalistic forecast for each particular season and station.

source: UOG-WERI



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Page Last Modified: June 01 2010 22:44:39 GMT

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