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‘Fair weather’ forecast for Raro

Friday 31 December 2021 | Written by Alana Musselle | Published in Environment, National


‘Fair weather’ forecast for Raro
The tail end of ex-tropical Cyclone Sarai smashed the western side of Rarotonga on New Year’s Day in 2020. 20010212

Rarotonga can expect some fair weather for the long weekend as it welcomes the new year in, with a few showers and a fair bit of wind.

According to the weather outlook for the island, Friday through to Sunday is expected to remain overcast with some cloudy skies. Monday and Tuesday, where New Year’s public holidays will be observed, are looking to have sunny skies all around.

Arona Ngari, director of the Cook Islands Meteorological Service, says expected trade winds will bring 10 to 15 knots in the next five to 10 days.

Cloud coverage at any given location is measured in octaves. Ngari said Rarotonga could expect two to five octaves of cloud coverage this weekend.

“The trade winds will bring some passing showers but no torrential rains. The passing showers will be coming from the east trade winds so chances are that there will be no torrential, hard rain.”

Ngari said Rarotonga could expected a “fair looking weather” to welcome in 2022. Meanwhile the volcanic activity currently causing the island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai in Tonga to grow in size since Christmas is unlikely to have any effect on the Cook Islands, Ngari said.

The head of Tonga Geological Services, Taaniela Kula, said that the ash cloud had risen to heights of 12km and the direction of ash had varied with the wind conditions.

Currently the danger grade for the ash fall is orange, with red being the most severe. While no one has reported ash falling on houses yet, Kula advised that the public should take measures to protect their rainwater catchment and storage systems, should ash make landfall.

Kula said that people need to make sure they continue to sanitise and maintain their rainwater tanks, to stop the growth of a particular algae bloom that results from ash contamination.