Forecaster anticipates ease in dry spell

THE effects of the dry spell in the Western Division will slowly ease in the coming months, says Fiji Meteorological Service acting director Viliame Vereivalu.

Mr Vereivalu said this was because of the possible development of La Nina later this year.

“Models suggest the tropical Pacific Ocean will continue to cool, making the chance of La Nina forming in the late 2017 about 50 per cent,” he said.

“La Nina events are usually associated with enhanced rainfall for the Fiji Group.

“The global models favour above average rainfall for the Fiji region.

“Considering this and the likelihood of La Nina development and the current wet season, it is anticipated that the rainfall activity will pick up over the coming months.”

Fiji experienced an early onset of dry season with April recording well below average rainfall.

Drier than normal weather persisted across the Western Division and Rotuma while the rest of Fiji enjoyed normal conditions.

The dry conditions persisted in June and by October, a majority of the locations in the Western Division were in a meteorological drought state, affecting grasslands, shallow-rooted plants and small water bodies.

La Niña is defined as cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that impact global weather patterns. La Niña conditions recur every few years and can persist for as long as two years.

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