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Drought forecast on the horizon as Samoa dry spell continues

Crops in Samoa were badly affected by a drought in 2014
Sources: RNZI & Newsline Samoa

Apia, SAMOA — The dry spell gripping Samoa shows no sign of abating, with forecasts of a drought on the horizon.

Farmers have blamed the dry spell for the skyrocketing price of fruit and vegetables, with some produce costing 200 percent more.

The head of the Samoa Meteorological Service, Mulipola Ta'inau Ausetalia Titimaea, said rainfall has been dramatically below normal.

"For example, Apia. The total rainfall for February this year we had -- for the stations in Apia -- was 554mm. And for the March it was way below, with only 55.1mm," Mulipola said.

Mulipola Ta'inau said the country is still meant to be in the rainy season, with the dry season not supposed to start until later this month.

He said the difficult times for farmers are likely to continue, with a high chance of an El Niño developing this winter.

Signs of the dry season- the high temperatures and sunny weather are already becoming regular features of the daily weather.

“ Officially the dry season starts in May and finishes in October but signs of the  season are  already making their appearance,” ACEO of the Meteorological Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment MNRE Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea explained.

A characteristic of the dry season Samoa is experiencing is high temperatures. The normal temperature is 32 degrees Celsius but higher temperatures are now being experienced in Samoa.

“ The temperatures on some days rise slightly. The normal temperature is 32 degrees Celsius but sometimes temperatures have gone up to 34 degrees and even up 36 degrees,” Mulipola told Newsline.

“ There is no need to worry about the heat because we are used to it. The rise in temperature is caused by climate change. ”

Read more at Newsline Samoa