Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Tiyan, Guam

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AXGM70 PGUM 180554
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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TIYAN GU
400 PM CHST FRI SEP 18 2020

PMZ173-PMZ181-020400-
POHNPEI-MAJURO-
400 PM CHST FRI SEP 18 2020

...SEVERE DROUGHT CONTINUES ON KAPINGAMARANGI AND WOTJE...

.SYNOPSIS...
The synoptic pattern the past few weeks has been very La Nina-like. As
is typical of La Nina, trade-wind flow has dominated and tropical
cyclone activity has been displaced well west and north of Micronesia.
Disturbances embedded in the trade flow delivered adequate rain to most
islands near and north of 5N. The northern Marshall islands received decent
rains as westward drifting upper-level lows linked up with the trade
disturbances. These batches of showers were mainly north of the
southern Marshall Islands including Mili and Jaluit and Nukuoro in
Pohnpei state. Kapingamarangi in far southern Pohnpei state remained in
a very dry pattern as large-scale weather features sat farther north
near Pohnpei and to the south across New Guinea and the Solomon
Islands. August 2020 rainfall at Kapingamarangi was ~28% of normal.
Month-to-date rainfall for September 2020 is ~13% of normal. This very
dry pattern at Kapingamarangi (located roughly 1 degree N of the
equator) is indicative of La Nina. Similar conditions are likely to
continue the next few weeks. See the local drought outlook section
below for additional details.

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

                 Jan-Jun   Jul      Aug      Aug      Sep    Sep 1-16
                 Norm(%)  Norm(%)          Norm(%)    1-16   Norm (%)
RMI
WSO Majuro        123      108      9.97      87      6.19      96
Wotje             110       83     12.71     242      3.95      96
Kwajalein/Ebeye    92       90      5.24      50      7.04     121
Ailinglaplap      112       92      5.04      47      6.50     114
Jaluit             91       73      4.88      43      2.43      41

FSM
Kosrae airport    122       89     11.64      79     12.41     187
WSO Pohnpei        95       59     14.08      95      9.78     123
Kapingamarangi     78       42      2.94      28      0.63      13
WSO Chuuk          78       63     12.20      91      5.63      82
Lukunor            80       80     11.35      80      7.47     136
Fananu             --       81      9.60      75      5.03      88
WSO Yap            81       51     10.61      69      6.31      86
Woleai             72      110     10.34      69      6.18     106
Ulithi             97       81     10.20      65      6.07      97

ROP
WSO Palau          94       51     22.13     147      2.63      30

Marianas
Guam airport       81       68     12.68      74      4.39      58
Rota airport       59       42      9.17      70      5.74      78
Tinian airport     52       48      6.40      51      4.11      62
Saipan airport     52       62      8.88      73      4.19      77

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
*D2 Severe short and/or long-term drought*
       Pohnpei State: Kapingamarangi
       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: Observers report household water tanks are still around
10% of capacity and some are empty. Some of the community water tanks have
been tapped. Vegetation remains stressed and yellow in color. Some leaves
are beginning to turn brown.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS...

Marshall Islands: Wotje and Utirik have reverse osmosis units on site.
Rainfall was also well above normal for Wotje last month with adequate
rainfall so far this month.

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

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK...

Marshall Islands:
Near-adequate rainfall on Wotje has prevented any worsening drought
conditions the last couple weeks.Near-adequate rainfall is again expected
the next couple weeks with numerical models indicating just over 3 inches
of rainfall the next 10 days. The ongoing weather pattern is primarily
characterized by passing disturbances and surface troughs. Convection
passing over the islands with these features could be capable of bringing
locally higher rainfall totals than other islands and atolls that may not
see convection overhead.

Pohnpei State:
A dry weather pattern will remain in place at Kapingamarangi the next
couple weeks. Westward-moving disturbances will pass by to the north.
Well below-adequate rainfall is again expected in the coming weeks with
around 0.7 inches of rain expected the next 10 days.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
The next Drought Information Statement will be issued Friday October 2,
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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