22 Sep 2007

Weak weather system may cause fewer cyclones in Pacific region

9:59 am on 22 September 2007

Weak La Niña conditions may cause fewer tropical cyclones in the region over the next few months, but meteorologists are urging island nations to remain prepared.

The next tropical cyclone season is expected from November to May.

A climate scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Dr Jim Salinger, says there is an average risk for Tuvalu, Fiji, Wallis and Futuna, Tonga, Niue, and northern regions of New Zealand.

However, Dr Salinger says there is a reduced risk of tropical cyclones in the eastern part of the South Pacific, including the Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Pitcairn Island.

He adds countries in the western part of the South Pacific, such as Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, are still likely to experience tropical cyclones.