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Pacific ENSO Update

4th Quarter, 2010 Vol. 16 No. 4


RMI Flag Republic of the Marshall Islands: It has been drier than normal much of the time during the past several years throughout the RMI. During the 3rd Quarter of 2010, rainfall continued to be below normal at most RMI locations. For example, Kwajalein had a 3rd Quarter total of 22.82 inches that was only 70% of normal. One notable exception to the generally observed below-normal rainfall across the RMI occurred at Majuro, where the 3rd Quarter was very wet. The 49.70 inches of rain at Majuro during the 3rd Quarter was 135% of normal. In fact, consistent high rainfall over the past six months has already pushed Majuro beyond its normal annual rainfall with two months left to go in the year! This welcome spell of heavier rainfall may be attributed to a favorable setup of the trade-wind trough (or ITCZ) in the low levels of the atmosphere, coupled with a favorable positioning of the upper-level flow pattern, and to some extent Majuro’s location under heavier showers passing westward in the ITCZ. Just to the east of the Majuro Atoll, the rainfall at Arno for the 3rd Quarter was 34.20 inches, or 93% of normal. Recently, a big rain event did occur at Kwajalein on the 17th and 18th of October 2010, with a total of 8.56 inches of rain reported over those two days. This pushed the October 2010 total to over 15 inches. Kwajalein has not had over 15 inches of rain in a month since October 2006.

Republic of the Marshall Islands Rainfall Summary 3rd Quarter 2010

Station   Jul. Aug. Sep. 3rd Qtr
Predicted
RMI Central Atolls (6°N - 8°N)
Majuro WSO
Rainfall (inches)
15.76
14.09
19.58
49.70
36.32
% of Normal
121%
122%
160%
135%
100%
Laura
Rainfall (inches)
8.02
N/A
14.56
N/A
36.32
% of Normal
62%
N/A
117%
N/A
100%
Arno
Rainfall (inches)
10.46
11.29
12.45
34.20
36.32
% of Normal
80%
90%
100%
93%
100%
Alinglaplap
Rainfall (inches)
3.15
14.52
16.38
34.05
36.32
% of Normal
27%
134%
135%
98%
100%
RMI Southern Atolls (South of 6 °N)
Jaluit
Rainfall (inches)
13.71
4.39
8.95
27.05
36.32
% of Normal
105%
38%
72%
73%
100%
RMI Northern Atolls (North of 8°N)
Kwajalein
Rainfall (inches)
7.14
7.33
8.35
22.82
30.76
% of Normal
68%
73%
71%
70%
95%
Wotje
Rainfall (inches)
3.25
9.48
9.12
21.85
30.76
% of Normal
33%
99%
98%
76%
95%
Uterik
Rainfall (inches)
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
30.76
% of Normal
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
95%
Predictions made in 2nd Quarter 2010 Pacifc ENSO Update newsletter.

Climate Outlook: The rainy season in the RMI extends through December. Abundant rainfall should continue there through the end of the year. Looking ahead, near-normal rainfall is anticipated through the RMI dry season of 2011. This is a break from recent years in which the dry season has seen reduced rainfall at many RMI locations. Similar to many locations in the Hawaiian Islands, the atolls of the RMI have statistically significant long-term trends toward reduced rainfall over their 60-year period of climate observational records. This trend would lead one to be pessimistic that the abundant rainfall of 2010 would continue into 2011, but we are optimistic that at least near-normal rainfall will fall in the RMI through the dry season of 2011, albeit with the strong normal north-south gradient that gives the central atolls (e.g., Majuro) more rain, and the northern atolls (e.g., Kwajalein) less rain.

Forecast rainfall for the Republic of the Marshall Islands from October 2010 through September 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 
October - December 2009
(End of Rains)
110%
(41.85 inches)
120%
(45.65 inches)
120%
(36.17 inches)
January - March 2010
(Dry Season)
100%
100%
95%
April - June 2010
(Onset of Rains)
120%
100%
95%
July - September 2010
(Rainy Season)
100%
110%
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: January 28 2011 23:12:29 GMT

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