Forecasters have predicted that drought conditions in the Caribbean could continue for a more prolonged period.
This was revealed by Principal of the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) Dr David Farrell who has pointed out that the frequency of those drought conditions is also expected to increase.
He made the comments during the CIMH’s virtual Wet/Hurricane Season Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum earlier this week.
“As we talk to the climate modelers one of the things that we are hearing at least for the Caribbean is that expect there to be drier conditions prevailing well into the future [and] the frequency of extreme droughts is going to also increase” Dr Farrell said.
“I would like to stress that the drought situation is one that has exposed some challenges for us in the region in terms of socio economic development that we still need to pay attention to and we still need to make sure that we are sharing the best information to get the best forecasts.”
Despite those grim predictions, climatologist at the CIMH Dr Cedric van Meerbeeck, pointed out that drought conditions plaguing Barbados and other countries in the region could possibly ease up after August.
He predicted two scenarios in which the drought relief will unfold, explaining that there will either be progressive drought relief or slow drought relief depending on the amount of rainfall which occurs between June and August.
He further explained that if it is wetter than usual during that period, it is predicted that there could be high flood potential and strong tropical cyclone activity.
Dr van Meerbeeck said those conditions would contribute to progressive drought relief.
However, he noted that alternately if it was not very wet, it was predicted that there would be frequent heat stress and slow drought relief.
He said while there was a possibility both scenarios could occur in different countries at the same time, progressive drought relief was more likely to occur.
“This [progressive drought] is the more likely one and the second scenario is perhaps less likely. When I say ‘more likely’ I mean more likely at any spot in the Caribbean, but also more likely for the Caribbean as a whole. Nevertheless, keep in mind also that when I say ‘less likely’, it can always be that much of the region is facing one scenario while your particular country or some smaller location is experiencing the other,” he outlined.
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