Bad weather a good warning

Wednesday October 31, 2018 Written by Published in Weather

The bad weather caused by strong anti-cyclonic winds moving east across the Pacific Ocean is expected to start clearing up from today, says Cook Islands Meteorological Service director Arona Ngari.


Rarotonga has been weathering rain and heavy wind at times since mid-last week, putting cold water on the outdoor activities people planned during the week.

The windy weather has been a timely reminder for locals to complete their cyclone preparations before the rainy season begins with a vengeance.

However Ngari said people can now expect a bit of sunshine before the rains come in the coming month.

“The weather is getting better and we should start seeing the clouds clearing for some sunshine this week,” he said.

Ngari said the unfavourable weather was due to the anti-cyclone system moving towards the east.

 “This was caused by a trough line also moving towards east. And when anti-cyclone squashes with the trough line, it increases the pressure gradient which caused the strong winds.”

Ngari is asking people to take heed of the weather warnings and look out for weather updates especially as the country enters the cyclone season.

Cook Islands face two to three named cyclones in the coming months.

For the coming season, NIWA said about four storms were anticipated to reach at least category three strength, with mean wind speeds of at least 118 kilometre per hour (km/h) winds.

“Peak TC season is usually from January to March. In seasons with similar background climate conditions to the present, TC activity was elevated in a zone situated east of the International Dateline (which includes the Cook Islands) and in the western Gulf of Carpentaria,” NIWA said.

“In addition, the strongest TC anomalies were focused in the region between Samoa and the Cook Islands, which is associated with a northeast displacement of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) during El Niño events.”

The last cyclone to affect the Cook Islands was Severe Tropical Cyclone Pat which passed directly over Aitutaki in 2010.

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