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Links between the Southern Oscillation Index and Hydrological Hazards on a Tropical Pacific Island

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Title: Links between the Southern Oscillation Index and Hydrological Hazards on a Tropical Pacific Island
Authors: Terry, James P.
Raj, Rishi
Kostaschuk, Ray A.
Issue Date: Jul 2001
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Terry JP, Raj R, Kostaschuk RA. 2001. Links between the southern oscillation index and hydrological hazards on a tropical Pacific island. Pac Sci 55(3): 275-283.
Abstract: River floods and hydrological droughts (low stream water resources)
are a recurrent problem in different parts of Fiji, causing disruption and hardship
for many rural communities. These extremes in fluvial behavior are associated
with large seasonal variability in rainfall, generated by intense tropical
storms in the wet season and prolonged rain failure in the dry season. Such
conditions are linked to the influence of El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
in the Southwest Pacific. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is the climatic
measure of the strength of ENSO activities and shows good correspondence
with (1) tropical cyclone flood magnitude and (2) critically low stream discharges
after a 2-month time lag, in two of Fiji's main river systems. If ENSO conditions
become more frequent or sustained in the future as some climate models suggest,
then the SOI will be a useful tool for projecting in advance the severity of
hydrological hazards, which can assist in disaster mitigation and management.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 55, Number 3, 2001

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