Drought Warning in force for Niuafo’ou. Drought Alert in force for Niuatoputapu, Vava’u and Ha’apai

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Drought Warning in force for Niuafo'ou
Drought Alert in force for Niuatoputapu, Vava'u and Ha'apai

(19 May 2019, Nuku'alofa) The Tonga Meteorological Services has issued a Drought Warning for Niuafo'ou and Drought Alerts for Niuatoputapu, Vava'u and Ha'apai. The drought warning and alerts for these parts of Tonga are based on the amount of rain that has fell in Niuafo'ou, Niuatoputapu, Ha'apai and Vava'u in the past 3 months and rainfall forecast for the next 3 to 6 months.

For Niuafo'ou

Rainfall amounts in the past 6 months (November 2019 — April 2020) have been below average and based on the latest climate outlook summary this pattern is forecasted to continue for the next 3 months until at least July. Because Niuafo'ou did not receive the expected rain during the wet season, it is heading into the dry season already with a rainfall deficit which could result in severe water shortages if the rainfall continues to be below average as forecast and if residence do not use water wisely. Residence should ration water now and collects as much rain water as you possibly can during rainfall events.

For Niuatoputapu, Vava'u and Ha'apai

Rainfall has been somewhat chaotic. Fluctuating between below average and above average in the past 3 months (February — April 2020). But because we are heading into the dry season and with the predictions pointing to drier conditions, Niuatoputapu, Ha'apai and Vava'u Island Groups are placed under drought alerts and water rationing measures should start to be put in place to conserve water. Especially rainwater and especially the outer islands communities.