13 Jan 2012

Below average rainfall predicted for Tokelau and Tuvalu this wet season

3:31 pm on 13 January 2012

Pacific Islands hit by drought last year are expected to see lower than average rainfall this wet season.

The international community rushed water supplies and desalination units to Tuvalu and Tokelau last October after the atolls declared a state of emergency.

A climate scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research, Dr Andrew Lorrey, says Tuvalu, Tokelau, Western Kiribati and the northern Cooks will continue to be dryer than normal.

"We certainly expect intermittent rainfall over the three month period but as a whole the climate forecast is suggesting that below normal rainfall for those island groups is going to be expected in the coming three month period."

Dr Lorrey says above normal rainfall is expected this wet season in Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Tonga, Fiji, Niue and the southern Cook Islands.