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Pacific ENSO Update

1st Quarter, 2011 Vol. 17 No. 1


American Samoa Flag American Samoa: For 2010, rainfall at American Samoa ended near its average annual value (1971-2000 average). The year started with some very wet conditions (28.30 inches of rainfall at Pago Pago during January 2010). Thereafter, the rainfall was near normal throughout much of the dry season. The year ended dry, with November and December particularly so. Gusty trade winds were noted over much of the recent dry season. Hurricane Wilma passed directly over American Samoa at the end of January 2011. It appears that Wilma was of severe tropical storm intensity when it passed; peak measured winds were 50 kt with gusts to 70 kt. Wilma became a very powerful 115 kt (Saffir-Simpson Category 4) hurricane 2.5 days after passing American Samoa when it was located well to the south of the Fiji Islands. More complete storm data should be available for the next newsletter.

American Samoa Rainfall Summary 4th Quarter 2010

Station   Oct Nov Dec 4th Qtr Annual
Pago Pago WSO
Rainfall (inches)
15.33
9.15
4.34
28.82
122.30
% of Normal
86%
67%
68%
80%
100%
A'asufou
Rainfall (inches)
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
% of Normal
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Climate Outlook: American Samoa is now entering the heart of its rainy season. The first two months of the rainy season (November and December 2010) were drier than normal. January 2011 may be wetter than normal, thanks in part to the passage of Cyclone Wilma over the island. Climate models favor near normal to above normal rainfall over the next three-month period. The next dry season (June - September 2011) is currently anticipated to have near normal rainfall. The risk of a damaging tropical cyclone is typically below normal during a La Niña event. However, the recent direct hit of Cyclone Wilma on American Samoa illustrates that the risk of a tropical cyclone at a given location is likely never zero during its cyclone season. For the remainder of the cyclone season (through June 2011) we are cautiously optimistic that there will be no additional adverse impacts from tropical cyclones in the Samoa region. The cyclones should favor the Coral Sea, and be a threat primarily to the east coast of Australia across to Fiji and New Caledonia.

Forecast rainfall for American Samoa from January 2011 through December 2011 is as follows:

Inclusive Period

% of Long-Term Average Rainfall /
Forecast Rainfall (inches)

January - March 2011
(Heart of Rainy Season)
100%
(37.31 inches - Pago Pago)
April - June 2011
(Onset of Next Dry Season)
100%
July - September 2011
(Heart of Next Dry Season)
100%
October - December 2011
(Onset of Next Rainy Season)
120%

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

source: UOG-WERI



Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center
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Web Master's email: peac@noaa.gov
Page Last Modified: February 24 2011 07:04:56 GMT

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