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Pacific ENSO Update

3rd Quarter, 2011 Vol. 17 No. 3


FSM Flag Federated States of Micronesia

Pohnpei State: During the first half of 2011, rainfall was near normal to above normal at most locations throughout Pohnpei State, with the exception of the occurrence of very dry conditions at Kapingamarangi during the latter half of 2010 and the first two months of 2011. The total rainfall during the seven-month period of August 2010 through February 2011 was only 10.28 inches or 19% of normal. Three of the months during this time period had less than one inch of rainfall. This dry weather likely caused harm to water supplies, vegetation and crops. Drought quenching rainfall returned to Kapingamarangi in March 2011 when 8.46 inches (61%) of rainfall was observed, and recently a whopping 17.91 inches (247%) was recorded there in June 2011. For some perspective on the extraordinary dryness at Kapingamarangi, the following rainfall totals during notable severe drought conditions on other islands are given: 1. 1983 drought Pohnpei Island, January to May rainfall = 9.37 inches (13%), 2. 1998 drought Pohnpei Island, January to April rainfall = 10.53 inches (20%), 3. 1983 drought Guam, January to June rainfall = 7.66 inches (28%), 4. 1998 drought Guam, January to June rainfall = 11.26 inches (41%), 5. 1983 drought Majuro, January to May rainfall = 5.93 inches (17%), and 6. 1998 drought Majuro, January to April rainfall = 2.77 inches (11%).

The recent dry condition at Kapingamarangi, and to a lesser extent at Nukuoro, were the direct result of the La Niña distribution of cold equatorial SST and its effects on weather patterns. With La Niña fading to ENSO-neutral during the first half of 2011, abundant rainfall returned to Kapingamarangi and to Nukuoro where the 2nd Quarter rainfall totals were 38.26 inches (123%) and 63.25 inches (151%), respectively. Not only did the dry conditions abate during the 2nd Quarter, but it was extremely wet at these two islands during June 2011. The 32.72 inches reported at Nukuoro for June 2011 was the highest monthly value seen in Micronesia for the entire quarter.

Pohnpei Rainfall Summary 2nd Quarter and 1st Half 2011

Station   April May June 2nd Qtr
1st Half
Pohnpei Island
Pohnpei WSO
Rainfall (inches)
8.04
18.35
18.90
45.29
90.38
% of Normal
49%
96%
110%
86%
100%
Palikir
Rainfall (inches)
12.43
16.25
19.43
48.11
100.69
% of Normal
70%
79%
105%
84%
103%
Kolonia Airport
Rainfall (inches)
10.32
19.28
19.68
49.28
89.99
% of Normal
76%
123%
140%
114%
122%
Atolls of Pohnpei State
Nukuoro
Rainfall (inches)
13.38
17.15
32.72
63.25
91.27
% of Normal
89%
116%
268%
151%
117%
Pingelap
Rainfall (inches)
6.36
24.23
17.19
47.78
88.02
% of Normal
37%
142%
106%
95%
98%
Mwokilloa
Rainfall (inches)
6.26
23.72
20.68
50.66
95.90
% of Normal
46%
151%
147%
117%
130%
Kapingamarangi
Rainfall (inches)
9.99
10.36
17.91
38.26
49.19
% of Normal
74%
100%
247%
123%
75%


Climate Outlook: Near normal to above normal rainfall is anticipated on Pohnpei Island and the atolls of Pohnpei State for the next several months. Kapingamarangi is entering its dry season now, but ironically, it is likely to be wetter during the next few months of its dry season than it was at the beginning of its past rainy season. Unless it is El Niño, tropical storms and typhoons do not typically affect Pohnpei State. With ENSO-neutral conditions prevailing for the remainder of 2011, it is likely that a few tropical disturbances and perhaps a monsoon depression or two will pass through the State contributing to abundant rainfall.

Forecast rainfall for Pohnpei State from July 2011 through June 2012 is as follows:

Inclusive Period

% of Long-Term Average Rainfall /
Forecast Rainfall (inches)
Pohnpei Islands and Atolls Kapingamarangi
July - September 2011
110%
(46.46 inches)
120%
(27.24 inches)
October - December 2011
100% 100%
January - March 2012
100% 100%
April - June 2012
120% 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: August 09 2011 02:01:39 GMT

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