‘Rainfall may not be enough to overcome drought’

Fiji Meteorological Services director Ravind Kumar explains the projected path of the cyclone during the media briefing in Nadi yesterday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Fiji Meteorological Services director Ravind Kumar. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FILE

AS the country closes in on the wet season that begins in November, the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) has forecasted that coming rainfall may not be enough to overcome the drought affecting most parts of the group.

FMS director Ravind Kumar said rainfall was predicted to be normal to below normal between September and November.

“However, rainfall is likely to be highly variable as we move from the dry to wet season,” he said. “Rainfall will gradually pick up as we progress towards the wet season, however, it may not be enough to overcome the rainfall deficiencies in the previous three months.

“The recent rains have dampened the effect of dry spell and we need more rainfall in the coming months to break the meteorological drought.”

He explained that the meteorological drought has mostly affected the western and northern parts of the country.

“Vanuabalavu and Matuku are normal, while Viwa and Navua are on watch and Yasawa, Tavua, Rarawai, Lautoka and Vunisea are on warning.

“The rest of the monitoring sites are in meteorological drought.” Mr Kumar said as the weeks progressed, residents should adhere to advisories from relevant authorities.

“Residents should take heed of the advice from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and the Water Authority of Fiji to conserve and use water wisely.”

A meteorological drought was declared over the country late last month by the Nadi weather office after weeks of little to no rainfall.

Water carting programs have been implemented by the NDMO in collaboration with the Water Authority of Fiji for affected areas.

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