Get out your umbrellas — more rain on the horizon


Although better weather was predicted for this week, beginning yesterday, the local weather station is now saying that monsoonal rainfall will plague the territory for the next few days.
Local meteorologist Carol Maafala-Baqui said yesterday the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), a reverse-oriented monsoon trough and a band of low-level convergence, cloudiness and precipitation is hovering over the Samoan Islands and will linger “over the next couple of days.”
She explained, “in simple terms, this means we will be getting rain and gusty winds”.
Tropical Cyclone Ian, which was located near the Tonga Islands during the first part of this week has moved away.  As of noon yesterday, Ian was sitting between the Tonga and Fiji Islands, situated to the southwest of Pago Pago at about 420 nautical miles.
Maafala-Baqui said the monsoonal trough triggers showers and possible thunderstorms, so everyone is advised to stay safe and be on the lookout for flooding and landslides.
She said local residents should expect gloomy conditions for the next 72 hours “although it may dissipate before the end of the week.”
By yesterday afternoon, the total amount of rainfall in the Tafuna area was recorded at .5 inches.
So far this month, almost 7 inches of rainfall have been recorded, with the norm for January standing at 14.48 inches.
Meanwhile, the local weather station wants everyone to remember that this is the territory’s rainy season so rainfall should be expected. Also, the hurricane season extends from November through April each year.
In an interview with Samoa News last week, local meteorologist Elinor Lutu-McMoore said the outlook for this hurricane season shows that at least one system could possibly affect American Samoa.
“No matter what the seasonal forecast is, we advise the general public to always be prepared,” she said.


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