Weather experts around the world are baffled by three cyclones simultaneously looming over the Pacific, and forecasters at home say the change in weather patterns could be a bad sign for the Cook Islands.
Images captured by NASA reveal three major hurricanes simultaneously making their way across the Pacific Ocean for the first time in history.
Hurricanes Ignacio, Kilo and Jimena – each Category 4, were pictured together by NASA and astronauts on the International Space Station over the weekend.
And Cook Islands Meteorological Service says rough seas are expected around this country over coming days.
Forecasters predict Hurricanes Ignacio will weaken into a tropical storm by midweek, while the other two hurricanes in the Pacific, Kilo and Jimena, are still massive Category 4 storms.
Cook Islands Met Service director Arona Ngari says there will be high seas from the northerly quarter in a few days’ time as a result of Kilo and Jimena..
Ngari says unusual events like the three hurricanes can be expected during an El Nino episode.
El Nino has strengthened in the past six months and the warm seas have created ideal conditions for storms to develop.
Ngari says the spread of the warm sea surface temperature over a vast area will only increase the chances of storms.
As the country heads towards the cyclone season, from November to April, Ngari says there are possibilities of some “devastating” cyclones.
The Cook Islands Meteorological Service is awaiting an official forecast on the number of cyclones expected during the season.
“As the Cook Islands weather start to warm, leading into summer months, it is expected that this kind of active storms has a very good chance of showing in our summer months,” Ngari says.
“These months are from November to April, commonly known as our wet season and also our tropical cyclone season.”
The weather office is asking people to prepare for the cyclone season by securing their houses and pruning the trees in their vicinity.