Jamaicans urged to brace for above-normal temperatures this summer
Tired stress worker sweat from hot weather in summer.

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Stay cool and keep hydrated — that’s the advice the Meteorological Service of Jamaica (MET Service) has for Jamaicans ahead of a summer expected to record high temperatures.

According to information obtained by OBSERVER ONLINE from the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, the seasonal outlook for the period June to August 2022 indicates that temperatures across Jamaica are projected to be above-normal.

It is projected that there is a 50 per cent chance of above-normal temperatures, while the likelihood of below-normal and normal temperatures are each 25 per cent.

Summer officially begins on Tuesday, June 21.

During the period June to September, the weather is usually dominated by high-pressure systems across the region coupled with the frequent plume of Saharan dust and associated dry air that persist across the tropical North Atlantic Ocean and sections of the Caribbean, including Jamaica.

“Although the dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer often suppresses rainfall activities, the reverse is a greater presence of dust and hazy skies as well as warmer temperatures,” the MET Service explained.

Examining nine stations across the island since 2020, data from the MET Service revealed that Shortwood in St Andrew has recorded the highest temperature so far this year — 36.5 degrees Celsius on May 25.

The good news is that this is lower than the temperatures recorded in 2020 and 2021. However, the MET Service said that if the past two years provide any indication of what is to happen during the upcoming summer period, warmer temperatures should be expected in the coming months.

The analysis also indicated that Bengal Farm in St Ann recorded some of the highest temperatures for that station in 2021 including a high of 38.6 degrees Celsius (101.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.

The three stations that recorded the highest temperature reading between 2020 and 2021 are Bengal Farm, Shortwood and Santa Cruz in St Elizabeth.

With the country anticipating higher temperatures this summer, the MET Service is encouraging Jamaicans to “plan to stay cool and hydrated and be mindful of the needs of the young and the elderly”.

It added that the public should also keep up to date with the local weather forecast.

As it relates to the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, an above normal/average season is expected. Predictions from the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates 14 – 21 named storms of which six to 10 are expected to become hurricanes and three to six expected to become major hurricanes.

READ: NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The MET Service is therefore encouraging Jamaicans to do the necessary activities to prepare for the hurricane season as directed by ODPEM, the municipal corporations and other disaster prevention agencies.

READ: It’s hurricane season…again! Is your emergency kit ready?

BY KELSEY THOMAS Observer Online reporter thomask@jamaicaobserver.com

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