The below average rainfall recorded in June follows similarly dry months in March to May of 2015, and with seasonally low rain over the west and north expected to continue through August, accumulations both above ground (in rivers and reservoirs) and below ground (in aquifers and soil moisture profiles) are expected to be significantly below average. The evolving El Niño event is already placing stress on water resources in parts of Fiji, especially the outer islands and remote rural areas where piped water is not accessible. There is an extremely high risk of major and catastrophic drought impacts during the latter half of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.
This year we can expect an increased risk of tropical cyclones in the 2015/2016 cyclone season with both the overall numbers likely to be greater than average, and the number of severe cyclones (Category Three or higher) is also likely to he greater than normal. The risk of cyclones east of the date line is especially high during El Niño years, and this season will likely be no exception. With rainfall likely to be below average through the summer months also, it is expected that the passage to tropical cyclone systems over or near island groups will be the primary source of significant rainfall.
Not good - despite us being just west of the date line!
Read NaDraki's excellent albeit depressing forecast here!