Lingering monsoon still impacting local weather
The ‘Gale Watch’ for Tutuila, Aunu’u and the Manu’a island group that went into effect late Thursday afternoon was canceled around 11:45p.m that evening, as Tropical Cyclone Ian headed straight for the Ha’apai Group in Tonga and further away from American Samoa.
Associated Press is reporting Tonga was lashed by powerful Cyclone Ian on Saturday (Tonga time), causing damage but there were no immediate reports of injuries in the heavily populated northern islands.
A state of emergency was declared for two of Tonga's three island groups, Vava'u and Ha'apai, on Saturday morning as category-five storm Cyclone Ian brought heavy rain and strong winds forecast to gust at up to 287 kilometers (178 miles) per hour, the Matangi Tonga news website said.
For American Samoa, the National Weather Service kept a wind advisory in place for the territory until late yesterday afternoon due to a monsoon trough that was causing winds of up to 35mph, and higher in gusts.
Carol Baqui, meteorologist with the weather office confirmed that winds were stronger at higher elevation areas, such as Aoloau and Aasu as well as other parts of Tutuila. She urged residents to be mindful of their environment because strong winds can cause broken tree branches and other problems.
The weather service said in a bulletin yesterday that last night heading into tonight, the monsoonal trough remains nearly stationary across the islands and will continue to produce “hazardous weather conditions during the next few days.”
For the latest weather update, listen to local radio stations and visit our website: www.samoanews.com for updates online of any major changes over the weekend with our local weather.