EXTREME DROUGHT DEVELOPING ACROSS THE NORTHERN MARSHALL ISLANDS
The synoptic pattern the last few weeks has been characterized by a featureless, moderate trade-wind flow across the Marshall Islands. The inter-tropical convergence zone has been largely non-existent but shows signs of finally redeveloping this week. These conditions have led to dry conditions for atolls of the RMI near and north of 9N with spottier rainfall south of 8N.
La Nina continues based on large-scale oceanic and atmospheric conditions. A series of westerly wind bursts in December 2021 affected the La Nina sea surface temperature pattern via a slight eastward shift in the warmer sea temperature anomalies, perhaps weakening the oceanic La Nina signal somewhat. It is possible an ENSO neutral pattern may set up by late spring. Overall expectations are for drought to continue to worsen across the northern Marshall Islands the next month or so before showers begin to pick up in March. This largely follows climatology and seasonal climate model guidance.