Vanuatu expecting two to three cyclones

VANUATU is expected to have two to three Tropical Cyclones in its cyclone season of 2016 to 2017 from now until April next year.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department is advising all to be prepared well in advance and must take all the warnings produced and issued by the VMGD seriously at all times.

Philip Malsale, the VMGD Climate Division Manager said “possible impacts with the current weak La Nina event can have adverse impacts on the livelihood of our people.”

He said Vanuatu is located in the hotspot of tropical cyclone activity in the region. Each year Vanuatu and New Caledonia experience the greatest cyclone activity with at least 2-3 cyclones passing close to countries.

He said the current weak La Nina conditions are forecast to last until early 2017.

“The weak La Nina condition favoured two to three tropical cyclones mostly category three. However that could change if the condition changes,” he said.

Mr Malsale said in the past, with similar conditions, there is a higher probability of experiencing category three cyclones with reduced likelihood of category four or five systems occurring this season based on the selected analogs.

Mr Malsale said the Pacific Region is forecast to have eight to 10 named tropical cyclones from November 2016 to April 2017. Tropical Cyclone activity for Vanuatu is anticipated to be average this season which means between two and three tropical cyclone events. The season is shaping up to be a normal to elevated risk of cyclone activity during the early (November 2016 to January 2017) and late months (February to April 2017).

Mr Malsale said communities should make sure that they are well prepared by taking appropriate action and stay up to date with the latest information from VMGD.

“All communities should remain alert and be well prepared for severe events, as elevated risk of tropical cyclone activities are expected,” he said.

Mr Malsale said the conditions forecasted for the upcoming tropical cyclone season are similar to the seasons of 1969/1970, 1983/1984.1992/1993, 1995/1996, 2005/2006 and 2010 when Vanuatu experienced 116 cyclones that passed within a 500km of Port Vila.

The VMGD will continue to monitor the cyclone season with daily five day Tropical Cyclone outlook. Information can be accessible through VMGD website (, or VMGD’s Facebook page. Tropical cyclone information is also included in the monthly Vanuatu Climate Update bulletin. SMS will be disseminated during any event while people are advice to listen to all radio outlets at all times.