The intra-ACP Climate Services and related applications programme (ClimSA) in the Pacific region has convened the 12th edition of the Pacific Island Climate Outlook Forum (PICOF-12) held on 20 April 2023. It has reviewed the past six-month trend and outlooked for the next three months ahead. It highlighted the importance of communicating climate information as Pacific prepares for possible El Niño for the coming months.
All the stakeholders have agreed on the coming of the El Nino phenomena and advised for watching on it for preparedness. As we know, the phenomenon will result in a number of impacts on Pacific Island countries, such as increased rainfall for countries in the central and eastern Pacific such as Nauru, western and eastern Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tokelau, northern Cook Islands and northern French Polynesia making them prone to flooding, landslides and damage to infrastructure.
Countries in the Western Pacific, such as Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna, will see normal to below normal rainfall, and will likely experience droughts during the El Niño period.
The Pacific National Hydrological and Meteorological Services (NMHS) will continue to monitor the current development of potential El Niño through the monthly Ocean and Climate Outlook Forum (OCOF) and the National Climate Outlook Forums (NCOFs). Decision makers and communities are encouraged to liaise with NMHS to get official information on the current climate situation and predictions for the next six months.