Potentially Drought-Busting Rainfall This Week

17 04 2016

Dale C. S. Destin |

A trough system could potentially cause drought-busting rainfall across Antigua and the rest of northeast Caribbean during this week. The system could dump up to 150 mm (6.0 in) of rain on the Leeward Islands and the Virgin Islands over the next six days, starting  tonight – Sunday night.

GFS forecast rainfall total for the period 2 pm, April 16 to 2 pm, April 23, 2016

GFS forecast rainfall total for the period 2 pm, April 15 to 2 pm, April 22, 2016

We could get drought-busting rainfall i.e. sufficient rainfall to bring a welcome end to the meteorological and agricultural droughts taking place across Antigua and nearby islands. However, it is unclear as to whether it will be enough to replenish surface catchments and aquifers to end the more serious socioeconomic droughts, which are costing the islands dearly. Nevertheless, the rainfall is likely to put a big dent in this drought also.

Given the potential amount of rainfall that could occur, at least moderate flooding is possible of low-lying and flood-prone areas across the northeast Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda. Thus, the requisite watches and warnings may be required for portions of this week.

GFS probability forecast of total rainfall for April 17-23 exceeding 75 mm (3 in)

GFS probability forecast of total rainfall for April 15-22 exceeding 75 mm (3 in)

GFS probability forecast of total rainfall for April 17-23 exceeding 150 mm (6 in)

GFS probability forecast of total rainfall for April 15-22 exceeding 150 mm (6 in)

A number of weather models, including two of the best – the Integrated Forecast System (IFS) and the Global Forecasting System (GFS), are showing very high probabilities of this week being very wet, especially relative to April. However, it is not a 100% certain. Further, the eventual rainfall total is quite uncertain.

Most for the precipitation is likely to be in the form of rain from layer-type clouds as opposed to the showers from convective-type clouds. Notwithstanding, thunderstorms are possible every day from Monday to Friday. The sun could also be hidden by thick clouds for most of the week.

The normal rainfall for April is 85.6 mm (3.37 in). On record dating back to 1928, April 1981 is the wettest with 245.4 mm (9.66 in), and the driest is April 1944 with 5.8 mm (0.23 in). At the V. C. Bird International Airport, the normal rainfall for April 17-22 is 12.7 mm (0.50 in). The wettest was 1992 with 112.0 mm (4.41 in) and the driest of 0.0 mm occurred on at least six occasions since 1961.

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A Break in the Warm Surge for the Western Caribbean

30 04 2015

Dale C. S. Destin |

A cold front is set to dowse the western Caribbean and the Bahamas with heavy showers over the next several days.

2 AM SURFACE PRESSURE ANALYSIS FOR THU APR 30 2015

                               2 AM SURFACE PRESSURE ANALYSIS FOR THU APR 30 2015                               CREDIT NOAA

10:45 AM SATELLITE PICTURE

10:45 AM SATELLITE PICTURE

These showers will be very heavy at times and are expected to will break the warm, dry spell for that part of the region; however, the rest of the area will continue to see scorching weather.

The high pressure ridge, which is the main cause of the parched weather across the region, will block the progress of the front causing it to linger for much longer than normal across the Western Caribbean.  Precipitation from this system could continue well into next weekend, with few breaks.

RAINFALL FORECAST FOR APR 30 TO MAY 7, 2015

ONE WEEK RAINFALL FORECAST: APR 30 TO MAY 6, 2015

Possible rainfall totals over the next seven days across the Bahamas and Cuba are 100-200 mm (4-8 in). This could cause like threatening flash floods and mudslides in some areas. Much lower totals are possible across the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Hispaniola.

Notwithstanding the potential for flooding, this will be much welcome rainfall as many places across the Bahamas and Cuba are experiencing rainfall deficits. And like the rest of the Caribbean, El Nino is likely to cause significant rainfall deficits for upcoming months.

We will be following this weather as it unfolds.








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