Dale C. S. Destin |
The May to October 2016 climate outlooks are now available for Antigua. In the short-term, the news remains bleak regarding rainfall. However, in the long-term, there is relieving news, as above normal rainfall is likely for the period August-October. Meanwhile, uncomfortably warm temperatures are expected for the upcoming six months.
Notwithstanding a wetter than normal week in April, droughts (meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socioeconomic) continue across Antigua. We are now entering the 35th month of mostly moderate or worse rainfall deficits.
Currently, a moderate drought or worse is evolving over the periods – February to July 2016, October 2015 to August 2016 and November 2015 to October 2016. All three periods are likely to have below normal rainfall. Drought warnings remain in place and will likely continue into the third quarter of the year.
The current El Nino looks to be on its last gasp. It will transition to a neutral state around the middle of the year and possibly to La Nina during our wet season. La Nina, unlike El Nino, generally encourages rainfall across our area, mainly during the wet season. Although still distant, we appear to be drawing nearer to the light at the end of the tunnel i.e. the end of the droughts.
Precipitation and Temperature
Over the coming three months – May to July, below to near normal rainfall will result in the droughts continuing, at best, slight, and at worse, re-intensifying to serious levels.
Meanwhile, August to October will likely see above normal rainfall. Thus, some droughts may come to an end during the latter half of the upcoming rainy season. However, there remain large uncertainties as to how wet the rainy season will eventually be.
So far, 2016 has been wetter that last year; however, it’s running over 50 mm (2 in) below average. The dry season (January-June) is likely to be drier than usual, and at best, the year will have near normal rainfall.
The next set of outlooks will be available by June 3, 2016.