Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Tiyan, Guam

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AXGM70 PGUM 160439
DGTGUM

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TIYAN GU
230 PM CHST FRI OCT 16 2020

PMZ173-PMZ181-300400-
POHNPEI-MAJURO-
230 PM CHST FRI OCT 16 2020

...EXTREME TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT ON KAPINGAMARANGI...
...DROUGHT IMPROVES FOR WOTJE AND UTIRIK IN THE NORTHERN MARSHALLS...

.SYNOPSIS...
Little has changed with the synoptic pattern the last month or so. As
is typical of La Nina, trade-wind flow has dominated and tropical
cyclone activity has been displaced well west and north of the region.
Disturbances embedded in the trade flow delivered adequate rain to most
islands near and north of 5N. Westward drifting upper-level lows
enhanced showers at times. The monsoon continued to make brief but weak
appearances across the Republic of Palau, Yap state and the Marianas.
These spells of monsoon weather delivered above average rainfall to
Palau and the Marianas while rainfall was spottier across Yap state.

Dry weather continued at Kapingamarangi in far southern Pohnpei state
as weather-producing features anchored farther north near Pohnpei and
to the south across New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Kapingamarangi
has only received about 4.26" of rain since August 1st with only ~1.32"
since September 1st. Dry conditions are likely to continue the next few
weeks due to the robust La Nina pattern. See the "local drought outlook"
section below for additional details on the extreme to exceptional
drought at Kapingamarangi.

Recent rainfall (inches) across Micronesia: % of normal (norm) based on
1981-2010 rainfall normals (averages)

                 Jan-Jul   Aug     Sep    Oct 1-11  Oct 1-11
                 norm(%)  norm(%) norm(%)            norm(%)
RMI
WSO Majuro        120      87      93      7.51     175
Wotje             105     242      65      5.24     186
Kwajalein/Ebeye    92      50     142      3.27      86
Ailinglaplap      108      47     153      8.34     236
Jaluit             88      43      51      5.33     149

FSM
Kosrae airport    117      79     104      7.25     195
WSO Pohnpei        89      95     101      6.19     126
Nukuoro            96      69      54      5.05     142
Kapingamarangi     72      28       9      0.46      18
WSO Chuuk          76      91     153      2.92      79
Lukunor            80      80     131      4.29     118
WSO Yap            73      69      80      2.65      67
Woleai             79      69      79      2.77      85
Ulithi             93      65      69      2.42      73

ROP
WSO Palau          84     147      44      9.88     252

Marianas
Guam airport       81      74      77      9.34     245
Rota airport       59      70     129     10.55     267
Tinian airport     52      51      85      7.33     203
Saipan airport     52      73      73      5.64     155

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
*D4 Exceptional short-term drought*
       Pohnpei State: Kapingamarangi
*D1 Moderate short and long-term drought*
       Republic of the Marshall Islands: Wotje and Utirik

For the latest drought map for the US Affiliated Pacific Islands visit
https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?usapi

Kapingamarangi: As of 30 September, only three of the six community
water tanks are full. Residents estimate that the remaining community
water supply will last them about 1.5 months with no additional
rainfall. Vegetation is mostly brown with no banana or breadfruit left.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS...

Marshall Islands: Wotje and Utirik have reverse osmosis units on site.

Pohnpei State: Residents of Kapingamarangi submitted an urgent request
for water on 1 Oct. The Federated States Ship (FSS), "Independence"
arrived several days later with 730 gallons of potable water. Efforts
are being made to use the ship`s desalinization unit to refill
Kapingamarangi`s empty water tanks. For more information on the formal
and urgent request for water please see:
https://reliefweb.int/report/micronesia-federated-states/fsm-pohnpei-
governments-jointly-respond-water-emergency

Dry weather is likely to continue at Kapingamarangi. Residents are urged to
conserve drinking water.

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK...

Marshall Islands:
A relatively wet pattern will persist in the coming weeks with passing
disturbances bringing near- to above-adequate rainfall the next 2 weeks.
Numerical forecast models indicate 10-day rainfall totals of around 4
inches for Wotje and much of the Marshall Islands.

Since drought conditions have improved in recent weeks from severe to
moderate due to sufficient rainfall, and with additional rainfall expected
in the coming weeks, this will be the last Drought Information Statement
for Wotje and the Marshall Islands. We`ll be watching conditions closely
should drier conditions return.

Pohnpei State:
Little or no change is expected for Kapingamarangi in the coming weeks
as the ongoing dry spell will persist at least through the end of October.
Numerical model 10-day rainfall totals indicate around 0.8 inches of rain,
which remains well-below adequate. As in recent weeks, most disturbances
in the region will pass to the north with rainfall primarily along and
north of 5N.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
The next Drought Information Statement will be issued Friday October 30,
2020 or sooner if necessary.

.RELATED WEBSITES:
-US Drought Monitor for the United States Affiliated Pacific Islands-
https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?usapi
-National Weather Service Guam-
https://www.weather.gov/gum/Hydrology
-Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Services-
https://www.weather.gov/peac
-Climate Prediction Center Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook-
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ghazards/
-Coral reef watch satellite monitoring-
https://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.php

.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
This drought statement is a combined effort involving regional National
Weather Service offices, Richard Heim and the USAPI drought monitor
team at NCEI, Chip Guard at Tropical Weather Sciences, the Climate
Prediction Center, PEAC services, the International Research Institute
for Climate and Society, Mark Lander at University of Guam, USAID
subregional offices and the NOAA/NESDIS coral reef watch program.

.QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS PRODUCT? PLEASE CONTACT:
National Weather Service
3232 Hueneme Road
Barrigada, GU 96913
http://www.weather.gov/gum
phone: 671-472-0953
e-mail: brandon.bukunt@noaa.gov / marcus.aydlett@noaa.gov

$$

Bukunt/Aydlett


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