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Pacific ENSO Update

1st Quarter, 2012 Vol. 18 No. 1


FSM Flag Federated States of Micronesia

Kosrae State: Kosrae is typically one of Micronesia’s wettest locations, with an annual average rainfall of slightly over 200 inches. During 2011, Kosrae locations fell just short of their normal high rainfall values. This was likely a residual effect of the rather wide La Niña-associated cold water wedge. During 2010 and the first three months of 2011, the cold sea surface temperature anomaly that accompanies La Niña was so extensive that rainfall was reduced in a wide region near the equator and extending away from the equator to produce some dry conditions at low-latitiude islands such as Nukuoro (3.8 ° N) and at Kosrae (5.3 ° N). Mukuoro has since become wet, and Kosrae has returned to near normal. It was particularly dry in Kosrae during the first three months of 2011, and then beginning in April and May, heavier rainfall amounts helped to bring the annual total to near normal. The annual total rainfall of 196.72 inches at the Kosrae Airport during 2011 was just under normal at 95%. Several locations in eastern Micronesia (including Pohnpei, Majuro, and Kwajalein) have seen a long-term decline in annual rainfall over their periods of record-keeping (which extend back to the early 1950s) for at least one primary station in each of the major island groups. Some islands (Kosrae included), also have a period of climatic record-keeping by the Japanese during the late 1920s to mid 1930s. Recent longer-term trends in dryness in Kosrae may be related to an unusual persistence of La Niña over the past decade, which has seen an increase in the trade winds across the region, and shifts in the rainfall patterns.

Kosrae Rainfall Summary 4th Quarter 2011

Station  
Oct
Nov
Dec
4th Qtr
Annual
Kosrae Airport (SAWRS)
Rainfall (Inches)
16.83
13.07
28.11
58.01
196.72
% of Normal
104%
82%
194%
124%
95%
Utwa
Rainfall (Inches)
16.20
11.17*
35.05
62.42
198.35
% of WSO
100%
70%
242%
134%
96%
Tofol
Rainfall (Inches)
19.00
10.25
19.05
48.30
186.86
% of WSO
117%
64%
131%
104%
91%
Nautilus Hotel
Rainfall (Inches)
15.52
10.18
28.56
54.26
189.25
% of WSO
96%
64%
196%
116%
92%
* Estimated from nearby stations

Climate Outlook: A weather pattern of persistent trade winds should continue to dominate at Kosrae. During persistent trade-wind conditions, there is normally abundant rainfall on Kosrae. While computer forecasts of rainfall indicate continued slight dryness at Kosrae for at least the next three months, rainfall should remain more than sufficient. No adverse tropical cyclone activity is expected for Kosrae State during 2012.

Forecast rainfall for Kosrae State from January 2012 through December 2012 is as follows:


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

January - March 2012

90%
(44.47 inches)

April - June 2012

100%

July - September 2012

100%

October - December 2012

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 22 2012 05:05:09 GMT

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