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Pacific ENSO Update

2nd Quarter, 2010 Vol. 16 No. 2


RMI Flag Republic of the Marshall Islands: In 2009, all reporting locations in the RMI had below normal rainfall, especially during the first half of the year: Kwajalein and Majuro had 6-month rainfall totals of 39% and 56% of normal, respectively. Rainfall was heavier during the 2nd half of 2009. The annual total of 108.94 inches at the Majuro WSO was 83% of its long-term average. Majuro and other atolls of the RMI (especially in the north) have been experiencing drier than normal conditions for some time now. Although heavy rains occurred at the end of 2009, the RMI became very dry during the first two months of 2010. Similar to locations throughout Micronesia, February was extremely dry, with some atolls receiving less than 1 inch of rain. Water supplies were severely stressed, with the 33-million-gallon Majuro airport Reservoir falling to about 10% of capacity. Harsh water restrictions were mandated.
Some welcome rainfall returned to the RMI in March, but was confined to atolls from Majuro southward. The northern atolls continued to experience dry conditions.

Republic of the Marshall Islands Rainfall Summary 1st Quarter 2010 and Annual 2009

Station   Jan. Feb. Mar. 1st Qtr
Predicted
2009 Annual
RMI Central Atolls (6°N - 8°N)
Majuro WSO
Rainfall (inches)
4.89
3.74
9.73
18.36
19.51
108.94
% of Normal
58%
61%
118%
80%
85%
83%
Laura*
Rainfall (inches)
4.16
1.73
N/A
N/A
19.87
118.93
% of Normal
54%
76%
167%
N/A
85%
91%
Mili*
Rainfall (inches)
7.40
2.20
8.79
18.39
19.54
N/A
% of Normal
80%
85%
N/A
Alinglaplap*
Rainfall (inches)
3.17
0.69
3.82
7.68
14.84
95.42
% of Normal
44%
85%
82%
RMI Southern Atolls (South of 6 °N)
Jaluit*
Rainfall (inches)
6.17
2.36
13.03
21.56
20.64
84.65
% of Normal
94%
90%
64%
RMI Northern Atolls (North of 8°N)
Kwajalein
Rainfall (inches)
5.29
1.23
3.86
10.38
9.51
72.83
% of Normal
116%
38%
94%
87%
80%
71%
Wotje*
Rainfall (inches)
0.69
1.39
0.77
2.85
8.77
55.05
% of Normal
16%
48%
20%
26%
80%
57%
Predictions for 1st Quarter 2010 made in 4th Quarter 2009 Pacifc ENSO Update newsletter.
* Normal values are estimated based on WSO Majuro, Kwajalein and satellite-derived precipitation distribution.

Climate Outlook: As El Niño weakens, the sharpening trade-wind trough in Micronesia strengthens the rainfall gradient across the RMI bringing abundant rains in a band just grazing the northern end of Majuro. This keeps the southern atolls (e.g., Mili) in abundant rain, while the northern atolls remain dry. During the first half of the year, the trade wind trough works its way slowly to the north, ending the RMI dry season first in the southern atolls, and last of all in the northern atolls (e.g., Kwajalein and Wotje). It appears that Majuro and nearby atolls to the south have begun to benefit from returning rainfall. Atolls to the north may have to wait another two or three months for rainfall to return to near-normal values. Near-normal rains should return to all atolls by July and continue for the rest of the calendar year.

Predicted rainfall for the RMI from April 2010 through March 2011 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 2010
100%
(33.92 inches)
90%
(30.53 inches)
80%
(20.09 inches)

July - September 2010

100%
100%
95%
October - December 2010
100%
100%
100%
January - March 2011
100%
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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(808) 956-2324

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Page Last Modified: May 29 2010 00:38:30 GMT

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