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Lower rainfall forecast for Tonga

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Tonga is currently in its cool dry season of lower rainfall and cooler temperatures, experienced from May to October.

The (El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, meaning the waters beneath the surface are presently significantly warmer than normal, indicating the chance of El Niño forming later in the coming months has increased, said Tonga Meteorological Service.

Neutral ENSO status means that it is either El Nino or La Nina, and is not biased to either status. During El Nino, rainfall in Tonga is below average especially on the onset of El Nino.

Given the current seasonal forecast in Table 1, the ENSO status above and the rainfall totals for the last 3 months, it is advisable to use water wisely and collect as much water as possible when it rains.

Niuafo’ou and Niuatoputapu has been experiencing below average rainfall in the past 3 months therefore, the public is encouraged to be aware and use water wisely and seek advice from relevant authorities of sensitive sectors, e.g. agriculture, water, health and the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) on the best practices.

Meanwhile, the rainfall outlook for July – September and October - December is average. Refer to Table 1.

Above average rainfall was recorded over the last three months except for Niuafo’ou and Niuatoputapu which was below average.

Refer to table 2 below.