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La Nina brings “moderate drought conditions” to the territory

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), cautioned last week of “moderate drought conditions” for American Samoa.

A summary of the drought statement says that a dominant ridge (high atmospheric pressure) over American Samoa has kept weather conditions over the territory primarily dry for the last two months. For example, the month of September received only 3.92 inches of rainfall, “which is well below the normal monthly minimum needed to meet water needs.”

Furthermore, the American Samoa Power Authority reported a continued decrease in levels in water wells, as well as increasing chloride readings.

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), the La Nina conditions are present in the Pacific Ocean through November. “It is highly likely that La Nina will persist through the remainder of the year,” the Center reports.

The NOAA statement says, “precipitation outlook through November for American Samoa is average to below average rainfall as La Nina conditions continue.”

And the federal agency said it will provide an update on Nov. 04, or sooner if necessary in response to significant changes in conditions.

The drought summary was compiled from a number of sources including the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), the CPC, the Pacific ENSO Application Climate Services and ASPA, said NOAA.

For questions or comments on the drought statement contact the National Weather Service Office in Tafuna at 699-9130.