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Driven by El Nino

Torika Chandra
Friday, August 29, 2014

A PROLONGED dry weather is affecting Fiji, permanent secretary for public utilities Commander Frances Kean confirmed.

Cdr Kean revealed that the effects of this was visible especially in the Western, Northern divisions and parts of the Central division.

"The situation began in the latter parts of May, 2014 caused by below average to well-below average rainfall through the months of June and July," he said.

"In August, almost all divisions are registering well-below average rainfall, indicating this dry condition has spread across the country."

The dry spell is said to be driven by the potential El Nino that had been trying to develop fully in the Pacific since May, 2014. Cdr Kean said that this was also happening during Fiji's usual dry season, therefore worsening the dry conditions.

"Some significant cooling in the waters of the Eastern equatorial Pacific in recent weeks has forced a slow-down of the development of this potential El Nino.

"Despite this slow down, global numerical climate models are predicting a 60 per cent to 70 per cent chance of an El Nino developing during the October to December 2014 period.

"Should El Nino develop then, it is likely to be a weak event, rather than strong, as earlier predicted."

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