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Pacific ENSO Update

2nd Quarter, 2012 Vol. 18 No. 2

American Samoa Flag American Samoa: American Samoa passed through the heart of its rainy season with relatively quiet and uneventful weather. Rainfall totals for the first three months of 2012 were slightly lower than normal, with the Weather Forecast Office at Pago Pago receiving a total of 33.92 inches (93%). This total was over 10 inches below last year’s 1st Quarter total of 44.88 inches. Tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the South Pacific was very quiet, and surges of the northwest monsoon were largely constrained within the Coral Sea out to the Fiji Islands. In January and again in late March, Fiji was impacted by major flooding. The northwest monsoon was anchored across Fiji during these events. During February 2012, TC Jasmine moved close to the southernmost islands of Tonga and generated strong winds and flooding rains on the Tongan main island of Tongatapu. No other TCs or strong surges of the northwest monsoon came near American Samoa during the 1st Quarter of 2012.

American Samoa Rainfall Summary 1st Quarter 2012

Station   Jan. Feb. Mar. 1st Qtr
Pago Pago WSO
Rainfall (inches)
% of Normal
Rainfall (inches)
% of Normal
Predictions for 1st Quarter made in 4th Quarter 2011 Pacifc ENSO Update newsletter.

Climate Outlook: American Samoa is about to enter its dry season. Normal monthly rainfall is typically below 10 inches per month for the period May through September at Pago Pago. Computer forecasts and a consensus of outlooks from several regional meteorological centers indicate that rainfall in American Samoa is likely to be slightly below normal for the next few months as the dry season becomes established. Thereafter, for the remainder of 2012 and early 2013, the rainfall and TC activity in American Samoa will depend on the evolution of ENSO. If the climate system is ENSO-neutral or moving toward El Niño in the latter half of 2012, the rainfall and TC activity in American Samoa should be normal to above normal. If La Niña returns (as it did in the fall of 2011), the rainfall and TC activity should be near normal to below normal.

Forecast rainfall for American Samoa from April 2012 through March 2013 is as follows:

Inclusive Period

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

April - June 2012
(Onset of Dry Season)
(24.78 inches - Pago Pago)
July - September 2012
(Heart of Dry Season)
October - December 2012
(Onset of Next Rainy Season)
January - March 2013
(Heart of Next Rainy Season)

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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Page Last Modified: June 11 2012 21:30:32 GMT


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