Talofa, Welcome to the American Sāmoa Community Page

courtesy of the National Park of American Samoa
Excerpted from the first recorded version of this story in the "Samoan Village, Then and Now" by Lyell and Ellen Holmes

In the beginning, there were only the heavens and the waters covering the earth. The god Tagaloa looked down from his place in the sky and considered creating a place on the earth where he could stand. So he made a resting place by creating the rock called Manu'atele [Greater Manu'a]. Tagaloa was pleased with his work and said, “It would be – well to have still another resting place.” He divided the rock Manu'atele so he would have other places in the sea that would serve as stepping stones. From these pieces of rock, he created Savai'i, Upolu, Tonga, Fiji, and the other islands that lie scattered about the wide ocean. When Tagaloa had finished fashioning all of these islands, he returned to Sāmoa. He measured the distance between the islands of Savai'i and Manu'a and found it to be too great. So he placed a rock halfway between and designated it as a place of repose for the chiefs. He called this last island Tutuila.

About the Creation Story

More can be found online at http://www.nps.gov/npsa/historyculture/legendpo.htm.

American Sāmoa

Amerika Sāmoa
Flag of American Samoa; courtesy of Wikimedia
Map of Samoa Islands; courtesy of Wikimedia

Capital: Pago Pago[1]
Population: 65,897 (2010)[2]
Land Area: 199 sq km (77 sq mi), including Rose and Swains islands[3]
Languages: Samoan (91%), English[4]
Indigenous Ethnicities:Sāmoan (Polynesian)
Greetings: Talofa (formal)(informal)

Find a more detailed profile of American Sāmoa at: http://pcep.dsp.wested.org/content_items/389048

Back to the Top


American Sāmoa, an unincorporated territory of the United States, is part of the Sāmoa Islands chain and is the southernmost entity in the United States. It is located southeast of the Independent State of Sāmoa, north of Tonga, west of the Cook Islands, and south of Tokelau. American Sāmoa consists of five volcanic islands (Tutuila, Manu'a, Ofu, Olosega, Tau, and Aunu'u) and two coral atolls (Rose and Swains).[5] Most of American Sāmoa's population resides in Tutuila; Manu'a is the second-most inhabited island in the territory.[6] Rose Atoll, the easternmost part of American Sāmoa, is uninhabited and maintained as a Marine National Monument.[7]

The highest point of elevation in American Sāmoa is Lata Mountain at 964 meters (3,163 feet). Pago Pago (on Tutuila) has one of the best natural deep water harbors in the South Pacific, as its shape and nearby mountains shelters it from waves and winds.[8] Rainy season in American Sāmoa is November to April and typhoons are common from December to March. American Sāmoa has limited fresh water resources and the government’s water division has spent substantial funds to improve water catchment and pipelines.[9]

Learn more about the Environment in American Sāmoa:

Back to the Top

Climate & Climate Impacts in Sāmoa

Average Climate
Year round, the islands of American Sāmoa are warm, humid and rainy. The average daily temperature is 26.5°C (79.7°F). On average, temperatures in America Sāmoa reach 32.22°C (90°F) 60 days out of the year. The record high temperature is 35.56°C (96°F) and the record low is 16.67°C (62°F).[10] Rainfall averages 125 inches (3.175 m) per year at Tafuna Airport while averaging over 200 inches (5.08 m) in mountainous areas, such as Rainmaker Mountain. Wind speed averages 11 mph at both Tafuna airport and Cape Matatula. Daily humidity ranges from 73-90% at Tafuna Airport.[11]

American Sāmoa has two seasons: the tropical wet period, and the dry period.

Tropical Wet Season
American Sāmoa's long wet season runs from October through May. Average daily air temperature is 27.78-28.33°C (82-83°F). Near shore (0-30 ft) water temperature ranges from 28.89-30°C (84-86°F) and in waters deeper than 100 feet the average temperature is 27.78°C (82°F).[12] Prevailing wind direction blows in the southeasterly direction. Winds tend to lose strength and become more variable from late December to early April.[13] Typhoons are more prevalent during the wet season, caused by warming waters in the western South Pacific.[14]

Dry Season
American Sāmoa's dryer and cooler season is runs from June through September. During these months, average daily air temperatures drops to 27.22°C (81°F) and rainfall across the islands decreases.[15] On the island of Tutuila, rainfall decreases by half.[16] Average ocean water temperatures drops to 27.78°C (82°F). The prevailing winds continue to blow in the southeasterly direction, gaining strength and consistency.[17]

Ocean Moderated Climate
Because the islands of Sāmoa and American Sāmoa are encircled by the waters of the Pacific, air temperature is moderated by the temperature and currents of the surrounding ocean. Warm ocean waters bring humidity and precipitation while cooler waters lead to decreases in both humidity and rainfall.

South Pacific Convergence Zone
The island of Tutuila is set within a region that is influenced by the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ). The SPCZ is a band of cloudiness and precipitation reaching from the West Pacific to French Polynesia.[18] The band of weather is produced as southeast trade winds meet the easterly flow of winds originating from the Eastern South Pacific. As winds meet, a band of clouds form which leads to rainfall and occasional thunderstorms . Because the island of Tutuila lies along the SPCZ, rainfall is higher and more variable than on other islands of Samoa and American Samoa.[19]

Learn more about Climate & Climate Impacts in American Sāmoa:
  • Additional information about climate and climate impacts in Sāmoa

Back to the Top

History & Way of Life

Back to the Top


Back to the Top

Photo Gallery

Want to know how to add photos to this gallery? Please see the Photo Gallery Tutorial.

Back to the Top

Tell Your Climate Story

You can share a story about how climate change is affecting your community in two ways

Add a Story using Facebook

Or Create a New Wiki Page with Pictures and Links

  1. Create a new wiki page
  2. Give it a title that includes your name
  3. Tag your page as American Samoa story.
  4. Tell us your story (you can even include pictures and links!)
Your new page will appear in the list of American Samoa Climate Stories here.

Back to the Top
  1. ^ Central Intelligence Agency. (2010). World Fact Book: American Samoa. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/aq.html
  2. ^ Secretariat of the Pacific Community (2010). Statistics & Demography, Pacific Data. Retrieved from: http://www.spc.int/sdp/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=28&Itemid=42
  3. ^ (CIA, 2010)
  4. ^ (CIA, 2010)
  5. ^ (CIA, 2010)
  6. ^ US Census. (2011, August 24). US Census Bureau releases 2010 census population counts for American Sāmoa. Retrieved from http://2010.census.gov/news/releases/operations/cb11-cn177.html
  7. ^ US Fish and Wildlife. (n.d.). Rose Atoll Marine National Monument. Retrieved from http://www.fws.gov/roseatollmarinemonument/
  8. ^ (CIA 2010)
  9. ^ (CIA 2010)
  10. ^

    Craig, P. Natural History Guide to American Samoa: 3rd Edition. National Park of American Samoa, 2009.
  11. ^

    (Craig, 2009)
  12. ^

    (Craig, 2009)
  13. ^

    Izuka, Scot K., Jeff A. Perreault, Todd K. Presley. Areas Contributing Recharge to Wells in the Tafuna-Leone Plain, Tutuila, American Samoa. Scientific Investigations Teport 2007-5167U.S Geological Surbey, Teston, Virginia: 2007
  14. ^

    (Craig, 2009)
  15. ^

    (Craig, 2009)
  16. ^

    (Izuka, Perreault, & Presley, 2007)
  17. ^

    (Craig, 2009)
  18. ^

    (Craig, 2009)
  19. ^

    (Izuka, Perreault, & Presley, 2007)