BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) with many regional countries in long term drought situations, this year’s Caribbean heat season will be marked by increased heatwaves and associated heat stress in vulnerable sections of the population.
In its Caribbean Climate Outlook Newsletter released here, CIMH said that many areas in the Caribbean are in long term drought.
It noted that during the period May to July, “seasonal temperatures were mostly above-average, with all-time records broken in June in Cuba and Jamaica”.
But CIMH said that for the period September to November, the Caribbean Heat Season, which runs from May to October, is likely to see a marked increase in heatwaves and the associated heat stress in vulnerable sections of the population, as well as livestock in Barbados, the Windwards and Guianas.
“Drought impacts in currently affected areas are generally expected to decrease towards November. The annual peak in very wet and extremely spells is expected to raise the concern for flash floods and flooding in Belize and the Islands.”.
CIMH said that severe drought has developed in much of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, Belize, parts of Hispaniola, Trinidad, Turks & Caicos, southern Belize, easternmost Cuba Haiti and northern Leewards.
It said that long term drought is evolving in Belize, Dominica, French Guiana, Martinique, St. Kitts, St.t Lucia, St. Vincent, and Suriname and is possible in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago
“Indications are that the first half of the 2019-’20 Caribbean dry season may be wetter than usual along southern Hispaniola, while portions of the coastal Guianas might see a wetter than usual secondary wet season. The average occurrence of extreme wet spells and corresponding flash flood potential diminishes drastically towards February across the entire region. Temperatures and humidity will feel seasonably comfortable for the coolest part of the year in spite of potentially warmer than usual temperatures forecast for most parts of the Caribbean,” CIMH added.