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Pacific ENSO Update

1st Quarter, 2011 Vol. 17 No. 1


The PEAC tropical cyclone outlook1 for the first half of 2011 (the quiet half of the typhoon season) is for below normal tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific basin. The continuation of the La Niña weather pattern of anomalous low-level easterly winds coupled with anomalous westerly winds in the upper troposphere should continue to prevent the normal development of the monsoon trough, and inhibit tropical cyclone development through at least June 2011. Thereafter, the weather patterns should return to a state that is closer to normal, and the distribution of tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific should return to a more normal distribution. The extreme reduction and westward displacement of tropical cyclones seen in 2010 is not expected to repeat during 2011. Normally, above average cyclone activity for Micronesia is seen when the state of the Pacific climate is entering El Niño. Two agencies 1 that publish long-range outlooks of TC activity for the western North Pacific have not yet done so. These outlooks are generally available by April 1st, and will be reported in the next PEAC Newsletter.

At the time of this writing, American Samoa has just experienced the passage of a tropical cyclone, Wilma (TC 08P). This cyclone passed very near to Pago Pago on 24 January 2011. The cyclone intensity was not extreme. It was somewhere at or just below minimal hurricane intensity. A discussion of the impact of this (and any additional) cyclone on American Samoa will appear in the next PEAC Newsletter.

1The PEAC tropical cyclone forecasts for 2010 are provisional. The PEAC considers input from three seasonal outlooks for tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific basin: (1) The City University of Hong Kong Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, under the direction of Dr. J. C-L. Chan; (2) The Benfield Hazard Research Centre, University College London, Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) research group, UK, led by Dr Adam Lea and Professor Mark Saunders (; and, (3) an experimental typhoon outlook produced by Paul Stanko (forecaster at the Guam WFO).

Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center
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Page Last Modified: February 24 2011 06:44:24 GMT


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