Regional statement on the impacts of the 2015/16 El Niño and 2016/17 climate and tropical cyclone outlook for the Pacific Islands

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. 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); and Typhoon activity for the western north Pacific is expected to be below normal to normal, from October to December 2016.