This 2015/16 El Nino is now one of the top 3 strongest events of the last 40 years, similar in strength to the 1982/83 and 1997/98 events. Over the next few months it is expected that El Nino conditions will weaken.
The El Nino has been responsible for the increase in westerly winds, unsettled weather and number of tropical depressions and storms that Kosrae experienced in 2015. During the early period of El Nino conditions typhoons tend to form or track closer to Kosrae.
What should you now be aware of?
- In 2016 Kosrae is expected to be at much lower risk of being impacted by severe typhoon than during than in 2015.
- Drought conditions will continue to be potentially severe through to June 2016.
- Less rain and drier conditions will typically be seen over the first half of 2016 (50% of normal between January and March 2016 and 75% of normal from April to June 2016).
- Throughout the coming months ensure your water tank is full and that there are no leaks in the guttering leading in to the tank or in the water pipes to your property. Keep an eye on your water usage, and reduce if rainfall does become less.
- The low sea-levels that have been experienced over the last few months will tend to rebound over the next few months with sea levels coming close to normal by the middle of 2016.
The last El Nino occurred during 2009-10 and was moderate in strength. The last major El Nino to cause severe drought problems in Kosrae occurred in 1997-98.
For more information on current El Nino conditions and their impact on Kosrae see the Pacific ENSO Update newsletter.