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High risk of tropical cyclone

Wednesday 16 February 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in National, Weather

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High risk of tropical cyclone
The month of May has masked a number of extreme weather events. PHOTO: CI NEWS/21021804

The risk of a tropical cyclone in the Cook Islands is high for the rest of February, says Cook Islands meteorological service director.

Arona Ngari said the risk is high because February historically has had more cyclones than any other month.

“The risk for a cyclone forming is high so we just have to monitor that, it could be something that will crop up,” Ngari said.

An additional sign pointing to a cyclone forming is the high sea surface temperature sitting at 29 degrees Celsius.

The La Nina phase is also weakening which will then move into a natural phase and likely into an El Nino phase.

Ngari said the Cook Islands would be at risk if the weather phase moved to El Nino.

“We're still in the season and the risk of this happening, especially in this month is pretty high,” he said.

However, Ngari said a low-pressure system was missing for a cyclone to form.

He said it was needed for a cyclone to spin, and form the eye of a tropical depression which can deepen into a tropical cyclone.

For February, Rarotonga had recorded 88.1mm of rain by 8am yesterday.

“A small number compared to what we had for the full month of February last year of 551mm,” Ngari said.

The average February rainfall is 204mm.

For sunshine, 19.2 hours were recorded for the month to Monday. The average for February is 183 hours.

Ngari said strong wind will persist for a couple of days with some showers, heavy at times with the odd thunderstorm.

“All in all, a typical normal month for February,” he said.

“Just make sure you have that brollie and raincoat handy for those passing showers.”