The National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office, Tiyan, Guam has issued a drought information statement to include the Mariana Islands and Chuuk State.
One of the strongest El Niño’s in history remains across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. This El Niño pattern will likely persist through the first few months of 2016, and then weaken to neutral by the summer months and possibly trend toward La Niña conditions late in the year. Increasingly dry conditions usually develop across Micronesia after the mature phase of a strong El Niño.
Lower than normal rainfall during the coming months will cause drought to develop for the Mariana Islands and parts of Chuuk State. Drought is already affecting islands of the Republic of Palau, along with the islands of Yap State.
For the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, rainfall has been below normal the past couple of months and below normal rainfall will continue the next several months.
Water supplies need to be monitored very closely and water conservation is highly encouraged. Drying and yellowing of food crops and vegetation will become much worse. Grass fires have already been observed on Guam and the risk of grass fires will increase in the coming weeks. Homeowners should keep grass and brush trimmed far away from houses and other structures. Some damage to food crops could also develop.
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