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Pacific ENSO Update

2nd Quarter, 2010 Vol. 16 No. 2


FSM Flag Federated States of Micronesia

Chuuk State:
  Annual rainfall in Chuuk State during the calendar year 2009 was near normal at most locations. The typical north-south distribution pattern was present, with the northern atolls receiving the least, and some of the atolls further south in the Mortlocks receiving the most. The annual total of 145.14 inches observed at Ta Atoll in the southern Mortlocks was the highest annual total throughout Chuuk State in 2009. The annual totals of 92.40 inches and 112.64 inches at Polowat and Namoluk, respectively, were among the lowest annual readings. The 141.63 inches recorded at the Chuuk WSO was near normal (96%).

The 1st Quarter of 2010 was relatively dry at most locations, with nearly all islands experiencing extremely dry conditions (one inch of rainfall or less) during February. Some atolls even had February totals of less than 0.50 inches. The February total of 0.31 inches at Ettal was only 5% of the normal for that month. As noted at many other low latitude locations in Micronesia, abundant rainfall returned to many atolls in March. The dry conditions of February gave quite a scare to the residents of Chuuk state. Just one month with almost no rainfall was enough to stress water resources and impact the seasonality of staple food crops (e.g., breadfruit).

Chuuk State Rainfall Summary 1st Quarter 2010 and Annual 2009

Station   Jan. Feb. Mar. 1st Qtr Predicted 2009 Annual
Chuuk Lagoon
Chuuk WSO
Rainfall (inches)
11.91
2.46
7.35
21.72
21.90
141.63
% of Normal
112%
40%
88%
86%
85%
105%
Piis Panew
Rainfall (inches)
1.81
0.66
5.56
8.03
21.90
76.94
% of WSO
32%
85%
57%
Southern Mortlocks
Lukunoch
Rainfall (inches)
16.41
0.29
13.90
30.90
23.19
125.87
% of WSO
154%
5%
167%
121%
90%
94%
Ettal
Rainfall (inches)
17.03
0.31
7.53
24.87
23.19
142.83
% of WSO
159%
5%
90%
99%
90%
106%
Ta
Rainfall (inches)
20.22
0.51
13.37
34.10
23.19
145.14
% of WSO
189%
8%
160%
135%
108%
108%
Namoluk
Rainfall (inches)
10.16
0.76
10.12
20.94
21.90
112.64
% of WSO
95%
12%
120%
83%
85%
84%
Northern Atolls
Fananu
Rainfall (inches)
4.22
1.58
6.65
12.45
20.62
118.86
% of WSO
40%
26%
80%
49%
88%
88%
Onoun
Rainfall (inches)
10.82
1.50
7.86
20.18
20.62
120.59
% of WSO
101%
24%
94%
80%
80%
90%
Northern Mortlocks
Losap
Rainfall (inches)
13.50
0.98
6.80
21.28
21.90
128.47
% of WSO
126%
16%
82%
84%
85%
96%
Nama
Rainfall (inches)
18.38
1.60
8.64
28.62
21.90
121.42
% of WSO
172%
26%
104%
114%
85%
90%
Western Atolls
Polowat
Rainfall (inches)
2.69
1.19
7.01
10.89
16.44
92.40
% of Normal
34%
19%
112%
53%
80%
77%
Predictions for 1st Quarter 2010 made in 4th Quarter 2009 Pacifc ENSO Update newsletter.

Climate Outlook: Easterly trade winds should continue to dominate the flow throughout Chuuk State for the next three months. The normal trade wind trough and its associated east-west band of persistent showers has become established at low latitudes (4-6° N), and will gradually shift northward over the next three months. For the next three months, rainfall will be distributed in a north-south pattern across Chuuk State, with atolls in the north (e.g., Fananu and Onoun) receiving less rain than atolls located further south (e.g., Ta and Ettal). Beginning in August and continuing through December, a few of the tropical cyclones occurring in the western North Pacific basin will begin their lives in Chuuk State as depressions. One or two occurrences of gale-force wind associated with a tropical cyclone may affect Chuuk Lagoon or atolls to the north, especially in the fall of 2010. This represents a normal risk.

Predictions for Chuuk State from April 2010 through March 2011 are as follows:

Inclusive Period
% of Long-Term Average Rainfall /
Forecast Rainfall (inches)
Chuuk Lagoon, and Northern Mortlocks
Polowat
Northern Atolls

Southern
Mortlocks

October - December 2009
90%
(28.43 inches)
80%
(28.44 inches)
75%
(26.66 inches)
90%
(31.99 inches)
January - March 2010
90%
95%
90%
100%
April - June 2010
100%
95%
100%
100%
July - September 2010
100%
95%
100%
100%

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: May 29 2010 00:38:27 GMT

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