Weather chief predicts one to two cyclones this season
Weather experts today revealed that based on historic data they are expecting one to two tropical cyclones to hit the country this season (November to April).
Director of Meteorology Services David Hiriasia explained that based on data from 1969/70 to 2018/19 cyclone seasons ENSO or El Nino Southern Oscillation is the main climate driver influencing Tropical Cyclone (TC) formation.
The EBSO phases include: El Nino, La Nina and Neutral
Hiriasia explained that more tropical cyclones are formed in the Solomon Islands region during El Nino and Neutral phases and less during the La Nina of average of three tropical cyclones per season.
As for 2022/2023 cyclone season, Hiriasia said the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) will be the dominant climate driver of annual TC formation in which they expect one to two cyclones.
He said TC can rarely occur outside of the official cyclone seasons (eg Namu in 1986 and Taquel in July 2015).
The director said whilst November to April is the official cyclone season, it is worth noting that January to March are the peak months of genesis activity for the Solomon Islands region.
He could not narrow their predictions to when the cyclones may occur but indicated it may occur in the peak months of January to March as high possibilities.
Hiriasia also told reporters that most TCs started in the Solomon seas and move into the other parts of the Pacific. He said Solomon unlike its neighbors had not experienced very strong cyclones expect for a few but Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji often faced the brunt of the high category cyclones of which started from the Solomon Islands seas.
He said Solomon had experienced strong cyclones which started here but they only curved back after hitting other countries in the region.
Meanwhile he said low pressure weather systems can also cause huge impact such as 2014 floods and significant rain can lead to flooding.
He added that in the current bad weather period storm surges cause coastal flooding and damages to coastal properties ad impacts are likely to be enhanced by the current La Nina condition whilst sea level is also likely to be higher than normal and with high tides, there is possibility of coastal flooding in coastal communities especially those located in lagoons and bays.