Region told to brace for wetter than normal seasonal rainfall

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – The Barbados-based Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) on Tuesday said that wetter than normal seasonal rainfall is expected from Jamaica across to Puerto Rico from June to August this year.

In its latest Caribbean Climate Outlook, the CariCOF warned that flash flood potential will remain high across Guyana.

“However, normal to drier than normal seasonal rainfall is expected elsewhere, but an increase in very wet and extreme spells is expected predominantly along the Lesser Antilles. In general, night-time temperatures are expected to be close to normal across the region with a slight increase in daytime temperatures expected in the Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago,” it said.

CariCOF said that incursions of Saharan dust should feature during this season as well as the potential formation of tropical cyclones.

It said as of May 1st, moderate or worse shorter-term drought has developed in the northern Bahamas, western Cuba, and St Vincent, while moderate longer-term drought has developed in Antigua, along the northern Bahamas, western Cuba, Dominica, southern coast of Hispaniola, Guadeloupe, eastern Jamaica, Martinique, St Croix, St Kitts, St Lucia, and St Vincent.

Short-term drought may develop in Martinique.

CariCOF said that a long-lasting weak La Nina will likely persist into late summer with slightly above normal sea surface temperatures across the Caribbean.

“An increase in Atlantic tropical storm frequency may also be consistent with the presence of La Nina. Warmer sea surface temperatures across the region should provide moderate seasonal forecast confidence,” CariCOF said.

“Rainfall patterns across the region are expected to be influenced by La Nina as well with a drier than normal signal along the northwest section and wetter than normal patterns setting up elsewhere. A peak in humid heat typically occurs during the first two months of the season and will coincide with the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season,” CariCOF added.

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