By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: FRIDAY 01 FEBRUARY 2013: Samoa is on the alert for storm surge winds which is expected to reach the speed of 55 to 70 miles an hour early Monday morning.
The alert was emphasized during a press conference this afternoon and the first special weather bulletin was released warning the country to expect more rain and strong gale winds.
The Chief Executive Officer for the Meteorology Office, Mulipola Ausetalia Titimaea said that Samoa will experience gale force winds at the speed of 40 -55 miles per hour. However, this is expected to turn into storm surge (matagi afa) winds on Sunday night and is expected to increase early Monday morning if the low pressure retains its speed.
Mulipola also highlighted the phenomenal changes in the amount of rainfall recorded so far this year.
The average rainfall for the month of January is 578.2 milliliters. However, last months rainfall had reached more than 1000 milliliters which is not normal for the month.
On Wednesday this week, 30th January, the amount of rainfall recorded was 77 milliliters and it increased to 81 on Thursday and again surged higher to 208 milliliters today. The phenomenal increase in the amount of rainfall recorded and that the trend continues with more rain expected, has prompted the Disaster Management to evacuate families from lowland areas this morning.
The low pressure causing the rains and winds is currently around Vanuatu however, it is predicted to reach Samoa with gale force winds next Monday.