Dale C. S. Destin |
February 2017 was a severely dry month for Antigua. It is the fourth driest February on record, dating back to, at least, 1928. Only one other February has been drier since 1983 – that of 2013.
On average, such an extremely low rainfall only occurs once in around every 33 years for February. In other words, there is only a 3% chance of such little rainfall taking place for the month.
The island-average for the February was just 14.0 mm (0.55 in). This makes it the driest and first below normal rainfall month since October 2016.
One month of dryness does not say anything about the rainfall for the upcoming months. However, with the probability of an El Nino rising, this dryness may be a sign of unwelcome things to come.
Recall the El Nino reduces rainfall activity across our area, mainly during the wet season, while the opposite – La Nina has reverse effect. It is still early days as to whether El Nino will develop but not too early for us to start to put contingency plans in place.
On average, February is our second driest month on, with an island-average of 55.9 mm (2.20 in).
Based on rain gauge measurement and satellite estimates, Barbuda fared slightly better with a total in the range of 12.7 to 38.0 mm (0.5-1.5 in).
Thus far, March is on track for, at least, near normal rainfall.