C'bean urged to beware floods, landslides, rockfalls as La Niña conditions prevail

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C'bean urged to beware floods, landslides, rockfalls as La Niña conditions prevail

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC)— The Barbados-based Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) is warning that La Niña conditions have been observed and this could result in flooding, landslides, rockfall and soil erosion in several Caribbean countries.

In its latest Caribbean Climate Outlook Newsletter on Tuesday, CariCOF said that for the period November to January, 2021, there is high potential for the wet events from Belize in the west to the Leewards Islands in the east.

"Flash flood, long-term flooding, landslide, rockfall and widespread soil erosion potential remain a concern across Belize, the islands and, from late-November, the coastal Guianas due to very wet spells and extreme wet spells," CariCOF said.


"On a positive note, with the intense 2020 heat season ending in October, heat stress should quickly subside,” CariCOF added.

Then, with the transition into the dry season, usually from the end of January, “frequent, short dry spells are expected from Hispaniola westward, potentially impacting unprotected crop farming".

The decreasing surface wetness, CariCOF said, will make the environmental conditions progressively less conducive to mosquitoes and moisture related pests.

It said severe (or worse) shorter term drought had developed in Belize and St Vincent as of October 1, but eased in previously affected areas; and that shorter term drought is unlikely to be of significant concern by the end of January, with the possible exception of parts of southwest Belize.

CariCOF said that a drought warning should be considered for southwest Belize, Dominica and Martinique, while a drought watch should be considered for Antigua, western and southeast Belize, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Suriname.

Long-term drought situations, by the end of November 2020, is evolving in southwest Belize, Dominica and Martinique and CariCOF added that long term drought might possibly develop or continue in Antigua, southwest Belize, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Suriname.

“Areas ending up in long-term drought by the end of November may experience water levels in large reservoirs, large rivers and groundwater that are lower than usual, which would become a concern for the 2020-21 dry season,” it added.

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