Dale C. S. Destin |
A number of temperature records were broken or equalled during October across much of Antigua and Barbuda. The first day of October, we measured at the at the Met Office, located V. C. Bird International Airport (VCBIA), the highest temperature on record for the month – 34.0 °C (93.2 °F), and the fifth highest for all months dating back to 1971.
We also recorded the second highest temperature for October – 33.9 °C (93.0 °F), and the sixth highest ever recorded at VCBIA.
These extreme temperatures were a part of a heatwave which began on September 30 and continued through October 7. During this time, the daily maximum temperatures were at record high or among the 10 percent highest temperatures for the given period.
The eventual mean daily maximum temperature (the mean of highest temperature for each day) was 31.2 °C (88.2 °F) or 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) warmer than normal. It tied with five other Octobers for the highest for the month.
Meanwhile, relative to October, minimum temperatures were quite oppressive. Many nights saw record or near record high minimum temperatures. There was a record number of “warm nights” (minimum temperature among the top 10 percent highest) – 12, shattering the previous record of 8 the month.
The mean minimum temperature (the mean of lowest temperature for each day) tied with that of October 2001 for the highest on record for the month.
The mean minimum temperature – 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) was 1.1 °C (2.0 °F) higher than normal. The excess (anomaly) above the usual mean minimum temperature for October was around twice that of the excess above the usual mean maximum temperature. Thus, the cooling that normally occurs at night did not take place, allowing for very little needed respite from the heat.
The overall, the mean daily temperature was also near record high – 28.1 °C (82.6 °F) or 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) higher than normal. It tied with 2001 for the third highest for October.
Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) around Antigua and Barbuda were also at record high levels for the month – 29.6 °C (85.3 °F) or 0.9 °C (1.6 °F) warmer than usual and tied with 2013 for the warmest SSTs for our area for October, dating back to 1854.
October also saw record high SSTs across the tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea – 28.6 °C (83.5 °F) or 0.7 °C (1.3 °F) higher than normal.
On a global scale, it was the warmest October on record with the global mean surface temperature was near 15.0 °C (59.0 °F) or 1.0 °C (1.8 °F) higher than usual.
Much of the warmth across Antigua and Barbuda and the rest of the region were due to the persistent weak nature of the Atlantic high pressure system, mainly during September, which translated into light winds that allowed for SSTs to soar.
We will let you know if this warm trend continued through November, shortly.