August 2016 to January 2017 Climate Outlooks for Antigua and Barbuda

16 08 2016

Dale C.S. Destin |

The August 2016 to January 2017 climate outlooks are now available for Antigua and Barbuda. Over the short, medium and long-term the rainfall is likely to be above to near normal.  Thus, there is a moderate chance of, at least, a temporary end to some droughts over the upcoming six months. Meanwhile, uncomfortably warm temperatures are expected for the upcoming six months. August-October (ASO) is the most active part of the hurricane season and is likely to be the most active since 2012.


July 2016 was wetter than the last three Julys and wetter than the last two combined; however, it was not wet enough to end the droughts (meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socioeconomic). We have now entered the 38th month of mostly moderate or worse rainfall deficits; however, since April, the meteorological and agricultural droughts have been at slight levels.

May-Oct2016 Rainfall Outlook

Looking forward – the meteorological and agricultural droughts could ease further or perhaps come to, at least, a temporary end as August has a 60% chance of being wetter than usual, and there is a 40% chance of the ASO period getting above normal rainfall. Over the long run, above  to near normal rainfall is likely. Notwithstanding, drought warnings and watches are in effect for various periods through January 2017.

The warm phase of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) – El Nino, came to an end in May leaving in its wake significant adverse impacts. There is now around a 60% chance of the cold phase of ENSO i.e. La Nina developing during the last third of the year or the latter half of our wet season. A few months, ago the chance of La Nina was in excess of 75%, so its chance of develop is on the decline; nevertheless, it is still more likely than not.

If you are in our part of the world – the Caribbean, a La Nina would be more than welcome. Unlike El Nino, La Nina often brings us more than usual rainfall, and with the record drought we are still experiencing, water is more precious than gold at the moment.

Unlikely, but a much wetter than normal wet season (July-December) is desperately needed to end our severe multi-year droughts.

Precipitation and temperature

Year-to-date, Antigua, on average, has had more than twice the amount of rainfall than for the same period last year. Nevertheless, we are still over 100 mm (four inches) in the “red” relative to the long-term average of 534.9 mm (21.06 in).

This up-tick in rainfall is likely to generally continue over the long-term – August 2016 to January 2017, there is a 75% probability of above to near normal rainfall. However, the projected rainfall for 2016 is 657 to 1218.5 mm (25.9-48.0 in) or below to near normal.

The summer heat is likely to continue through October with the ASO “season” likely to be warmer than usual. With a high confidence of warmer than usual weather, there is also the potential for extreme temperatures. The heat could be very distressing for many especially since both night-time and day-time temperatures are likely to be higher than usual. High than usual night-time temperatures are likely to continue through January 2017. This has negative implications for health, especially among older adults, infants and young children.

The hurricane season

Thus far for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, there have been five named storms and two hurricanes (Alex and Earl). The number of storms is considered above normal relative to the long-term average of three. However, the ACE, which matters most, is near normal.

Recently issued hurricane season forecasts have reasserted that the 2016 season is likely to be the most active since 2012. Notwithstanding, the forecast is for the season to fall in the near normal range with around 15 named storms, 7 becoming hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes; this includes those already formed.

Notwithstanding the forecast, we need to be fully prepared, as it only takes one hurricane to set our life and community back by decades. Be prudent: prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

See the following links for the full outlooks: August 2016, August-October 2016, November 2016-January 2017, August 2016-January 2017, Drought, 2016 Updated Hurricane Season Forecast.

The next set of outlooks will be available by September 3, 2016.

Correction, August 19, 2016: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the rainfall forecast for August 2016 to January 2017. The forecast is for above to near normal rainfall rather than below to near normal.

April to September 2016 Climate Outlooks for Antigua

1 04 2016

Dale C. S. Destin |

The latest climate outlooks are now available for Antigua. Unhappily, the news remains bleak. Below normal rainfall and above normal temperature are expected/likely for the upcoming six months – April-September 2016.


Antigua remains in drought, which has been ongoing for a record 33 months, based on record dating back to 1928.

Currently, a moderate drought or worse is evolving over the periods – January to June 2016, November 2015 to July 2016 and October 2015 to September 2016. All three periods are likely to see below normal rainfall. Drought warnings remain in place and will likely continue through the third quarter of the year.

The best rainfall forecast for Jan-Jun is around 271.8 mm (10.7 in); however, there is a 70% chance of it ranging between 152.7-443.6 mm  (6.0 to 17.5 in)

It is expected that El Nino will transition to a neutral state around the middle of the year and possibly to La Nina in the last third. La Nina, unlike El Nino, generally encourages rainfall across our area mainly during the wet season. Thus, there is light at the end of the tunnel but, at the moment, it’s a bit distant.

Precipitation and Temperature

Over the upcoming three months – April to June, near normal rainfall could ease the drought; however, an end to it is not anticipated.

Meanwhile, July to September is expected to see below normal rainfall. Thus, even if the drought eases during April to June, the following three months will see it reintensifying.

In the short-term, there are hopes of this dry season (January-June) being wetter than last year’s; however, it is likely to be drier than usual when compared to 1981-2010 average.

All forecast timescales (April, April-June, July-September, April-September) are likely/expected to have warmer than normal temperatures.

See the following links for the outlooks: April 2016, April-June 2016, July-September 2016, April-September 2016, Drought.

The next set of outlooks will be available by May 3, 2016.

%d bloggers like this: