The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said tropical cyclone activity across the Republic of Palau is anticipated to be normal to below normal for the remainder of 2023.

According to NOAA’s projections, the above-normal activity is consistent with the region’s recent shift to El Niño as supported by the latest NOAA Climate Prediction Center ENSO Diagnostics Discussion.

“With 2023’s transition to an El Niño pattern, it’s important to understand the relationship of interannual variability of tropical cyclone activity based on the ENSO phase,” it stated.

“When looking at location-based tropical cyclone frequencies, tropical cyclone activity shifts eastward from the La Niña pattern to the El Niño pattern. In contrast to the below-average tropical cyclone activity across the USAPI region in the La Niña years of 2020, 2021, and 2022, we anticipate considerably more tropical cyclone activity across the region due to the recent transition to El Niño and the possibility of its strengthening to a strong El Niño event by fall,” the advisory added.

However, tropical cyclone activity will still vary considerably due to the large extent of the Micronesia region.

“This is likely to result in considerably more regional activity than seen in the past three years. An eastward shift in the tropical cyclone genesis region is predicted to keep tropical cyclone activity near or below normal at the Republic of Palau, with more tropical cyclones passing to the north,” said the advisory.

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