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Pacific ENSO Update

3rd Quarter, 2009 Vol. 15 No. 3


RMI Flag Republic of the Marshall Islands: During the first half of 2009, several locations in the RMI were among the driest in the USAPI, both in terms of observed amount and in terms of percent of normal. Islands in the northern RMI (e.g., Kwajalein and Wotje) were particularly dry with less than 40% of normal rainfall. Even some islands further south such as Majuro and Jaluit were quite dry. The 38.20 inches of rainfall at the WSO Majuro during the first half of 2008 was 68% of normal. Some of the atolls of the northern RMI have been relatively dry for over two years. The return of normal springtime rainfall typically seen during La Niña did not materialize as forecasted. With damaging surf this past winter and persistent dry weather for many months, the RMI was stressed during a period normally associated with good weather. For several months through mid-July 2009, the National Weather Service (NWS) has been issuingspecial weather statements for very dry conditions in the northern RMI. The NWS cancelled its drought advisory on the 24th of July. The numerical guidance available to forecasters in this region has been quite good in its ability to indicate the continuance of dry conditions in the RMI at lead times of 7 days.

Republic of the Marshall Islands Rainfall Summary 2nd Quarter 2009

Station   April May June 2nd Qtr
1st Half
RMI Central Atolls (6°N - 8°N)
Majuro WSO
Rainfall (inches)
10.86
5.53
4.50
20.89
38.20
% of Normal
106%
49%
39%
63%
68%
Alinglaplap*
Rainfall (inches)
10.91
5.51
4.97
21.39
39.81
% of Normal
97%
44%
45%
71%
84%
RMI Southern Atolls (South of 6 °N)
Jaluit*
Rainfall (inches)
9.99
9.03
0.35
19.37
37.50
% of Normal
88%
78%
3%
59%
67%
RMI Northern Atolls (North of 8°N)
Kwajalein
Rainfall (inches)
5.29
1.58
2.14
9.01
15.00
% of Normal
70%
16%
22%
33%
38%
Wotje*
Rainfall (inches)
4.59
2.20
3.18
9.97
13.64
% of Normal
64%
23%
35%
39%
43%
Uterik*
Rainfall (inches)
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
% of Normal
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
* Long term normal is not established for these sites
**Estimated

Climate Outlook: There has been a persistent tendency for below normal rainfall in the RMI for many months, but now near normal or slightly below normal rainfall is anticipated for most of the atolls of the RMI for the next several months. It is now the rainy season in the RMI, and slightly below normal rainfall should still be adequate for fresh-water needs. Because of El Niño, adequate rainfall should continue in the RMI through the end of the year. Thereafter, dryness could return at the beginning of 2010, particularly if the El Niño is moderate or strong, and ends in early 2010. A strong El Niño raises the risk of a tropical cyclone in the RMI (e.g., Typhoon Zelda in 1991 and Typhoon Paka in 1997). Since the current El Niño is anticipated to be weak or moderate, a strong tropical storm or typhoon is not anticipated in the RMI; however, a few episodes of heavy rainfall may be experienced from tropical disturbances or tropical storms passing through the region from now through December.

Forecast rainfall for the Republic of the Marshall Islands from July 2009 through June 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 
July - September 2009
(Onset of Rainy Season)
100%
(36.32 inches)
100%
(36.32 inches)
100%
(32.48 inches)
October - December 2009
(Rainy Season)
100%
120%
120%
January - March 2009
(Dry Season)
100%
95%
90%
April - June 2010
(End of Dry Season)

100%
90%
85%

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 22:10:31 GMT

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