Forecasters warn of less rainfall for Caribbean

Forecasters warn of less rainfall for Caribbean

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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BRIDGETOWN (CMC) — The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) says as the region enters the new dry season, rainfall is expected to decline, with parts of the Caribbean already suffering drought conditions in recent months feeling effects from long-term drought by the end of the dry season.

“These would include Barbados, Belize and Cayman Islands. This is despite the eastern parts of the region likely having above normal rainfall during the first half of the season,” the CIMH said in its latest Caribbean Drought Bulletin released here.

It said that much of the region should monitor conditions “as there is some chance that long-term drought impacts can be felt in other parts of the region”.

The December issue of the Bulletin noted that the islands of the eastern Caribbean were predominantly normal to below normal for the month of October, with the exception of a few areas that were slightly wet.

It said Trinidad, St Lucia and Guadeloupe ranged from normal to moderately dry; Tobago, Dominica and Anguilla normal to slightly wet; while Grenada and St Thomas were slightly dry and Barbados moderate to severely dry.

The islands of St Vincent and Antigua were normal to slightly dry, while the French island of Martinique from slightly wet in the south to moderately dry in the north.

The Bulletin noted that in the Guianas conditions were mainly normal to extremely wet, with the exception of the northern part of Guyana which was slight to severely dry, noting that the west and south-west of Guyana ranged from slight to exceptionally dry.

“Jamaica was normal to slightly dry from east to west, while Grand Cayman was normal,” the CIMH noted.

According to the CIMH, the current drought situation indicates that severe or worse conditions have developed in Barbados, eastern Hispaniola, St Vincent, Trinidad, Aruba, Cayman Islands, eastern Cuba and the eastern, southern and westernmost Hispaniola.

It said that shorter term drought situation — by end of February 2020 — is evolving in north-west Bahamas, Cayman Islands and western Cuba, and that shorter-term drought might possibly continue in the northernmost Bahamas, Barbados, west-central and south-eastern Belize and northwestern Puerto Rico.

By the end of May 2020 several countries will experience longer-term drought situations, including Barbados, eastern and west-central Belize, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and the Windward Islands, except Grenada.

“Areas ending up in long term drought may experience significantly reduced water levels in large reservoirs, large rivers, and groundwater during the upcoming dry season,” the CIMH warned.

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