NIWA and MetService predict 9 to 12 named TCs for Southwest Pacific

The NIWA and MetService assessment of named tropical cyclone (TC) activity indicates 9 to 12 named TCs could occur in the Southwest Pacific basin between November 2021 and April 2022.

A release from NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand said the seasonal outlook is for normal to slightly above normal activity in terms of overall named TCs in the region.

Tropical cyclones have a significant impact across the Southwest Pacific, with the season officially starting in November and lasting until the end of April.

For the coming season, important differences are expected between the western and eastern halves of the Southwest Pacific basin and also for early and late season activity.

Elevated TC presence is expected in and around the Coral Sea, especially during the late season between February and April.

Risk of a TC interaction is expected to be higher across the maritime regions around the Coral Sea and in the subtropics between Fiji and New Caledonia.

Reduced TC activity is expected east of the International Date Line.

Vanuatu and New Caledonia typically experience the greatest TC activity, with an average of about two or three named TCs passing close to those island nations each year.

For this season, normal-to-elevated TC activity is expected for countries and territories around the Coral Sea, including Vanuatu, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Tonga and Fiji are expected to have normal TC activity. Near normal TC activity is expected for Wallis & Futuna, Tokelau and Niue.

Normal-to-elevated TC activity is expected for the Austral Islands, while normal-to-below normal TC activity is forecast for the Society Islands.

Tuvalu and most other islands to the east of the International Date Line, including the remainder of French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Samoa and American Samoa, are expected to have reduced TC risk for the coming season.

Despite the risk reduction in some locations, cyclones are still expected for countries that typically experience one or more named cyclones per year.

At least three severe cyclones reaching category 3 or higher might occur anywhere across the region, so all communities should remain prepared.


Photo file Fiji Met Services