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Pacific ENSO Update

1st Quarter, 2011 Vol. 17 No. 1


FSM Flag Federated States of Micronesia

Pohnpei State: Weather conditions on Pohnpei Island and most atolls of Pohnpei State were tranquil and unremarkable during 2010. One of the atolls of Pohnpei State, Kapingamarangi, is near the equator, and became very dry in the last few months of 2010. The rainfall there was 0.72 inches, 1.10 inches, 2.07 inches, and 0.76 inches during September, October, November and December, respectively. The 4-month total of 4.65 inches was only 17% of the normal 4-month total of 27.65 inches. Because of these very dry conditions, the WFO Guam in coordination with the WSO Pohnpei, issued weekly special drought statements for this island. The dry conditions at Kapingamarangi and at other islands close to the equator (e.g., Tarawa and Nauru) occurred because of the La Niña-related westward extension along the equator of cold sea surface temperatures. A bit further north, at Nukuoro (approximately 4° N latitude), there was a brief period of very dry weather during November, when only 1.08 inches (9%) was experienced. Thereafter, moderate rainfall returned to Nukuoro. At Pohnpei Island (approximately 7° N latitude) and at other atolls of Pohnpei State further off the equator (e.g., Pingelap, and Mwoakilloa), the rainfall was near normal during 2010. As usual, Palikir topped the list of rainfall totals in Pohnpei State during 2010 with 200.87 inches (98%). This was the highest annual total rainfall observed throughout Micronesia during 2010. A few miles away at WSO Pohnpei, the rainfall total during 2010 was 165.11 inches (87%).

Pohnpei Rainfall Summary 4th Quarter 2010

Station   Oct Nov Dec 4th Qtr Annual
Pohnpei Island
Pohnpei WSO
Rainfall (inches)
12.22
14.23
11.85
38.30
165.11
% of Normal
73%
90%
78%
80%
87%
Palikir
Rainfall (inches)
13.35
12.89
22.17
48.41
200.87
% of Normal
74%
76%
135%
94%
98%
Kolonia Airport
Rainfall (inches)
11.95
11.96
14.03
37.94
141.59
% of Normal
87%
93%
112%
97%
91%
Atolls of Pohnpei State
Nukuoro
Rainfall (inches)
10.48
1.08
3.85
15.41
125.29
% of Normal
97%
9%
32%
44%
84%
Pingelap
Rainfall (inches)
13.95
10.22
8.97
33.14
131.31
% of Normal
94%
72%
67%
78%
74%
Mwokilloa
Rainfall (inches)
14.09
13.66
16.84
44.59
138.69
% of Normal
97%
101%
130%
109%
87%
Kapingamarangi
Rainfall (inches)
1.10
2.07
0.76
3.93
89.33
% of Normal
23%
25%
9%
18%
81%


Climate Outlook: Easterly low-level winds should continue to dominate throughout Pohnpei State for the next several months, as the current La Niña slowly fades back to ENSO-neutral by June or July. In this scenario, the trade-wind trough (also called the ITCZ) becomes established across Pohnpei State in the spring. Thus, during the first half of 2011, it is likely to be wetter than normal for most islands and atolls of Pohnpei State except for Kapingamarangi. Normally, February is the driest month for most Pohnpei locations. Then, as the ITCZ strengthens in the spring, abundant rains commence. May is typically the wettest month for most locations on Pohnpei Island. This year should be no exception, with abundant rainfall that is anticipated to be above normal, especially for the 3-month period of April through June. Thereafter, near normal rainfall is anticipated on Pohnpei Island. At Kapingamarangi, where it has been very dry for the past several months, near-normal rainfall should return by April. The risk on Pohnpei Island, or any of the atolls of Pohnpei State, of hazardous effects from tropical cyclones is anticipated to be very low during 2011.

Forecast rainfall for Pohnpei State from January 2011 through December 2011 is as follows:

Inclusive Period

% of Long-Term Average Rainfall /
Forecast Rainfall (inches)
Pohnpei Islands and Atolls Kapingamarangi
January - March 2011
100%
(33.93 inches)
70%
(24.22 inches)
April - June 2011
120%
85%
July - September 2011
100% 90%
October - December 2011
100% 100%

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
c/o NOAA NWS - Weather Forecast Office Honolulu
2525 Correa Road, suite 250
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-2324

Web Master's email: peac@noaa.gov
Page Last Modified: March 01 2011 01:26:42 GMT

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