Dale C. S. Destin |
Although the mean air temperature for the first third of the year – January to April, was near normal, night-time temperatures, as expressed by the mean minimum temperature, were at record-tying levels across much of Antigua.
For the first third, at the V. C. Bird International Airport (VCBIA), the mean minimum temperature of 23.5 °C (74.3 °F) equalled the record highest, tying that of 2010 and 1969. The long-term average minimum for January to April is 22.7 °C (72.9 °F).
At the same location, the mean minimum temperature for February was 23.4 °C (74.1 °F). This shattered the previous record of 22.2 °C (72.0 °F) for the month. The mean minimum for the other months, in the period, ranked in the top ten of the record dating back to 1969.
As has been observed globally, colder places, and in our case, colder times are warming faster than warmer times. On average, the first third of the year has the lowest mean minimum temperature; yet, it is warming at a faster rate than the other warmer two thirds (May-August, September-December) of the year – it is warming at a statistically significant rate of around 1.3 °C (2.34 °F) per hundred years.
Regarding rainfall, for the first time in three years, we got our traditional April showers. The 1981-2010 long-term-average is 85.6 mm (3.37 in), and we got 79.0 mm (3.11 in), just 8% less than the average. Seatons Village and nearby areas were, however, quite wet with rainfall totals in excess of 150 mm (6 in). On the drier end of the spectrum were Five Islands and nearby areas with 34.3 mm (1.35 in).
Notwithstanding April’s rainfall, during the first third of the year the island-average rainfall for Antigua was below normal. However, it’s the highest in three years. Year-to-date, we have recorded 200.9 mm (7.91 in) of rainfall. This is 60.7 mm (2.39 in) below the long-term-average.
Overall, annual rainfall is on an insignificant downward trend. Meanwhile, there is virtually zero change taking place with the rainfall for the first third of the year. However, April is getting wetter at a statistically significant rate of around 45.0 mm (1.77 in) per hundred years.
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