Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Tiyan, Guam

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TIYAN GU
430 PM CHST FRI MAR 5 2021

PMZ173-PMZ181-190400-
POHNPEI-MAJURO-
430 PM CHST FRI MAR 5 2021

...EXTREME DROUGHT CONTINUES FOR KAPINGAMARANGI...
...SEVERE DROUGHT STRETCHES ACROSS THE NORTHERN MARSHALL ISLANDS...

.SYNOPSIS...
Steady rounds of showery weather have been confined to islands of
western Micronesia and a narrow ribbon of convergent trade-wind flow
across central to eastern Micronesia the past month or so. Severe
drought (D2) continues across the northern Marshall Islands due to
more than two months of minimal rainfall. Moderate drought (D1) has
also developed across the northern islands of Chuuk state, including
the Hall Islands and Namonuitos, the southern Marianas of Guam and
Rota, and Jaluit in the central south part of the Republic of the
Marshall Islands.

The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone continues to wave southward far
enough to brush Kapingamarangi with decent showers at times. These
pulses of shower activity are still separated by several days of dry
conditions. Extreme drought (D3) continues as agriculture continues to
suffer from half a year of meager rains and recent rainfall is still
inadequate to meet most water needs.

Recent rainfall (inches) across Micronesia for the main islands and
islands with D0-abnormally dry conditions or worse. % of normal
rainfall based on 1981-2010 rainfall normals.

                   Jan      Jan       Feb     Feb     Mar 1-4
                          % Norm             % Norm
RMI
WSO Majuro        11.58     140      3.89      51      1.62
Wotje              1.82      75      0.00       0     Trace
Kwajalein/Ebeye    2.34      58      1.97      60      0.50
Jaluit             5.68      58      2.24      36      0.82

FSM
Kosrae airport    31.36     173     16.78     123      0.63
WSO Pohnpei       19.38     147      6.26      62      2.50
Kapingamarangi     5.92      58      5.86      57      0.00
WSO Chuuk         11.56     114     11.29     156      1.03
Fananu             5.72      88      1.57      30      2.43
WSO Yap           12.85     176      7.24     121      0.12

ROP
WSO Palau         10.42      95     14.23     152      0.07

Marianas
Guam airport       4.11      83      1.01      22      0.01
Rota airport       2.10      40      0.97      19      0.22
Tinian airport     2.32      56      2.27      69      0.10
Saipan airport     2.30      65      3.15     121      0.00

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
*D3 Extreme short and long term drought*  -- Kapingamarangi

*D2 Severe short term drought* -- Marshall Islands near and north of 8N
               latitude. This includes but is not limited to Lib, Ebadon,
               Mejit, Maloelap, Likiep, Wotho, Wotje, Ujae, Lae, Utirik
               and other islets of Kwajalein atoll.

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

Kapingamarangi: Long-term drought has taken its toll on the crops.
Taro, breadfruit and banana trees are in very poor condition. A State
of Emergency Declaration was issued the end of January, primarily to
address the food shortage. Well water remains unsafe to drink and
rainfall continues to be inadequate.

Northern Marshall Islands: Water conservation measures are in place
across much of the northern Marshall Islands due to very low water
levels across many RMI atolls north of 8.5N latitude. The most impacted
islands have strict drinking water conservation measures in place while
reserving well water for other needs. Several of the islands have RO
units but may not be operational.

Northern Islands of Chuuk State including Fananu and the Hall Islands
as well as Onoun and the Namonuitos: Some water tanks have been empty
and taro patches have been drying up. However, recent rainfall may have
improved water tank levels for the short-term.

Jaluit (Central Marshall Islands): WSO Majuro reports water catchment
tank levels are very low across Jaluit. Some yellowing of vegetation
has been reported. Recent rainfall may have improved water tank levels.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS...

Kapingamarangi: A ship brought food and other supplies late February. Residents
of Kapingamarangi continue to conserve water with water tanks gradually rising.

Northern Marshall Islands and Jaluit: The Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
Cluster is working closely with the Marshall Islands National Disaster
Management Office (NDMO) to address the needs of the various atolls being
impacted.

Northern islands of Chuuk State: Chuuk`s Disaster and Emergency Operations
Center is aware of the ongoing drought across the northern islands of Chuuk.

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK...

Kapingamarangi: Rainfall is expected to remain below-adequate in the coming
weeks as a dry pattern remains in place over Kapingamarangi. The ITCZ has
become more pronounced but is likely to remain along and north of 3N-4N.
Numerical forecast models indicate spotty showers from time to time bringing
only minimal relief, with between 1 and 1.5 inches of rainfall over the next
10 days.

Northern Marshall Islands: Dry conditions currently prevail over the northern
Marshall Islands. However, the ITCZ has become more active just to the south.
Showers associated with the ITCZ could reach the northern islands bringing
much-needed showers and some short-term drought relief in the coming weeks.
Rainfall could be near-adequate with between 2 and 3 inches of rain over the
next 10 days.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
The next Drought Information Statement will be issued Friday, March 19,
2021 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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