2019 could be the driest year in Barbados in half a century, as rainfall levels plummeted, according to a preliminary assessment by the Principal of the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Dr David Farrell.
He said that while the reduced rainfalls may be perfect for some sporting activities, the country will continue to face challenges in its water supply.
Dr Farrell said: “We still lose a significant amount of water when we have an extremely dry year.
“And so we had dry years in 2009, 2010, and some of you can remember that.
“We had dry years in 2014 through to 2016, and now we are again in an extremely dry period.
“And so there is a lot of work that we have to do in the adaptation area. And I think it is going to be very important that every citizen realise the challenges that we are going to be facing as part of our adaptation strategy to challenges posed by the climate.”
Dr Farrell commented on the latest multiyear drought at the launch of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (ATOMIC) Field Campaign at the Grantley Adams International Airport, Seawell, Christ Church, over the weekend. The campaign seeks to provide fine details on cloud formation to help make weather prediction more accurate.
CIMH is to host a press conference soon “to talk about 2019”, Dr Farrell said.
Looking ahead to the 2020 hurricane season, the CIMH principal said it was too early to give an accurate prediction.
But he indicated that in the coming months, forecasts on the number of active weather systems to be expected this year would be provided.
Dr Farrell added:”Just remember that the prediction has an uncertainty to it.
“I think it is important that people pay attention to the information that is coming out and treat the information appropriately.
“I think that people should be prepared in the region for worse case scenarios and that preparation starts now and not the day before the event.”