August-like Warmth in April for Antigua

27 04 2015

Dale C. S. Destin|

Unseasonal temperatures have made the past few days feel like August.

Temperatures over the weekend soared as a ridge of high pressure settled over the area and associated light southeasterly winds pumped warmth into the air.

WarmSurge

High temperatures over the weekend rose into the lower 30s °C (near 90 °F). It is expected that most days of the rest of the week will see similar highs as the present wind pattern will persist.

At the Airport, record high temperatures were measured on April 24 and 26, while the highs measured on April 25 and 27 were the third and second highest respectively for the stated days.

The record high on Sunday, April 26, of 31.8 °C (89.2 °F) is also the 13th highest for April and the highest for the year so far. It’s the highest for April since temperature soared to 31.9 °C (89.4 °F) back on April 25, 2008.

The record high for April, at the Airport, is 32.7 °C (90.9 °F), measured on April 7, 1998.

A high in the upper 20s °C (mid 80s °F) is more common this time of the year.

We seldom talk about heatwaves in these parts but they do happen and we may be four days into one.

There are a number of definitions for a heatwave; however, we favour the definition that says a heatwave is to be declared when the daily maximum temperature of at least six consecutive days is ranked in the top 10% of a reference period (1971-2000) for the given days. Temperatures for the past four days satisfy this definition.

If it turns out to be a heatwave, it would only be the second one on record for April. The only other for the month occurred back in 1998, when the record high for the month was set.

For those planning outdoor activities during the upcoming week, dry weather will continue to prevail for most of the island. The exception could be the northwest (parts of St. John’s) where the heat could cause breeze convergence to give rise to showers during the afternoon.

Residents are urged to take it easy during strenuous activities from around midmorning to midafternoon, as well as drink plenty of water to avoid suffering from a heat-related illness. That is especially true for the elderly, children and those sensitive to the heat.

Protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation to prevent sunburn is also highly recommended. The UV index is generally high all year round in our area; however, with the low cloud coverage expected for the upcoming week, the index will be off the chart.

Although the heat will peak this week, warmer than normal high temperatures will likely continue through the first week of May. In the long run, near to above average temperatures are expected to prevail for the upcoming three months.

So far for the year, the mean daily maximum temperature has been near normal (average).

The warmth is also been felt across much of the rest of the Caribbean, north of St. Lucia, including the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. High temperatures are running 1-4 °C above average. One of the warmest spots over the weekend was Contramaestre, Cuba with a high of 35.7 °C (96.3 °F).

We will provide updates, as required, during the coming days.

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