The Pacific Island Climate Outlook Forum (PICOF) has issued its regional climate outlook and tropical cyclone outlook for 2016/2017. The forum, which took place on 17th and 18th of October in Nadi, Fiji, had a specific focus on the impacts of the 2015/16 El Niño.
The forum was part of a series of regional initiatives to boost climate change adaptation and disaster resilience in Pacific islands, which are particularly vulnerable to hazards such as tropical cyclones, drought and flooding, and the impacts of sea level rise.
Participants refined a Pacific roadmap for strengthening climate services in sectors prioritized by the Global Framework for Climate Services (agriculture, water, health, energy and disaster risk reduction). A public platform for disaster risk management also took place.
Representatives at the Climate Outlook Forum were from regional organisations, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, National Disaster Management Offices, other Fijian ministries and departments, and UN organisations.
Financial support for the event waseen provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada under the Programme for Implementing Global Framework for Climate Change (GFCS) at Regional and National Scales.
Highlights of the outlook were:
- For November 2016 to January 2017, weak La Niña to neutral conditions are expected.
- Below normal rainfall is forecast for the central Pacific (moderate-high confidence), and normal or above normal rainfall is possible for the islands in the northwest tropical Pacific and the region from Papua New Guinea southeast to the southern Cook Islands (moderate confidence).
- 8 to 10 named tropical cyclones are expected for the southwest Pacific region for the period November 2016 to April 2017 (this is near the long-term average).
- Typhoon activity for the western north Pacific is expected to be below normal to normal, from October to December 2016.
The full outlook is available here
More background on the Climate Outlook Forum is available here
Snapshot of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management is available here
Snapshot of the Pacific Roadmap for Strengthening Climate Services is available here