Rains at peak, says weather office


The National –Friday, January 7, 2011


THE worst of the wet season for Papua New Guinea is not over, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Port Moresby indicated yesterday. 

NWS’ forecasting and warning office acting director Jimmy Gomoga said the wet season peaks around February and March.

“At this time, it is most likely that most parts of the country will receive above normal rainfall and flooding is likely to occur,” Gomoga said in response to questions sent via email.

He also confirmed that flash floods that were currently experienced in Central and other parts of the southern coast were a result of Cylone Tasha in Queensland, coupled with favourable atmospheric temperatures and the La Nina conditions. 

Gomoga said the condition appeared to be persistent until the end of the first quarter of this year.

“We are well into the wet season and northwest monsoon is now well established across the country. With current conditions La Nina continues to remain firm across the tropical Pacific, though the majority of long-range models surveyed by NWS suggest this event may be near its peak,” Gomoga said.

He said while gradual decline was likely, it was expected that the current La Nina event would persist through the first quarter of the year. 

He said that sea surface temperatures had been 4°C cooler than normal compared to the La Nina event of 1988.

Gomoga explained that La Nina periods were generally associated with warmer than normal night time temperatures.

The weather office also warned that a likely occurrence of a tropical cyclone for the Solomon and Coral seas was typically higher than expected during the cyclone season (November-May) with an average rainfall across the country.

Gomoga said the total rainfall recorded for Port Moresby for the month of December was 156.8mm with 14.8mm on Christmas Eve.

A total of 53.2mm of rainfall was recorded on New Year. 

Gomoga said, so far 93mm of rain was recorded  for January in Port Moresby,” he said.