Monthly climate

Climate developments in October 2001

Low rainfall continues in the Coral Sea, Tonga and Niue
Very wet in central Vanuatu and parts of Fiji

Rainfall continued well below average during October in the Coral Sea, with totals ranging from 5 to 50% of average. Low rainfall persisted for the second month running throughout central Tonga and Niue, with totals less than 50% of average. Other regions with less than 50% of average rainfall were Kiribati, northern Vanuatu, much of New Caledonia except in the south, and the Marquesas.

While October rainfall was at least 200% of average in and about Noumea - New Caledonia, and western areas of Viti Levu -Fiji, much was confined to just a few days with very high rainfall. Rainfall was also at least twice average in central Vanuatu, northern New Zealand, and Bora Bora - French Polynesia. Rainfall was also enhanced in the Solomon Islands, parts of Samoa, and from northern Tonga across the northern Cooks to Tuamotu and areas southeast to the Rapa islands of French Polynesia, all with totals at least 120% of average. Outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) anomalies were below average, indicating active convection, over the seas to the north of Papua New Guinea and west of Western Kiribati.

Very high November rainfall was recorded at:

Country Location Rainfall,mm % of average Comments
New Caledonia Noumea 189 376 Extremely high
New Caledonia Boulari 260 466 Extremely high
Fiji Nadi Airport 278 270 Very high
Fiji Penang Mill 323 296 Extremely high
New Zealand Kaitaia 201 201 Highest, records began in 1985

Unusually low October rainfall was recorded at:

Country Location Rainfall,mm % of average Comments
New Caledonia Ile Art, Belep 9 16 Extremely low
Tonga Nuku’alofa 20 15 Extremely low
Tonga Fua’amotu Airport 33 30 Extremely low

Outgoing Long-wave Radiation and Rainfall Anomalies for October 2001 Outgoing Long-wave Radiation (OLR) anomalies, in Wm-2 are represented by shaded areas, and rainfall percentage of average, shown by numbers. High radiation levels (yellow) are typically associated with clearer skies and lower rainfall, while cloudy conditions (blue) lower the OLR and typically mean higher rainfalls. The position of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), as identified from total rainfall, is indicated by the green line. The average position of the SPCZ is identified by the dashed green line. OLR data source: NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center.