Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Possible long-term drought conditions warning for Jamaica, other Caribbean countries

Published:Friday | January 10, 2020 | 10:25 AM

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology is reporting that long-term drought might possibly develop or continue in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.

Those islands include Antigua, southwest Belize,  Western Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, and Grenada.

In its January edition of the Caribbean Drought Bulletin, the centre warned that areas ending up in long term drought may experience significantly reduced water levels in large reservoirs, large rivers, and groundwater during the upcoming dry season.

It said that as the region continues through the rest of the 2020 dry season, concerns exist for short-term drought.

The centre said the drought can impact soil moisture, streams and small rivers, particularly in Barbados, Belize, Guadeloupe, the ABC Islands of Aruba Bonaire and Curacao as well as eastern Puerto Rico.

It said the late wet season month of November last year was drier than normal in much of the region, adding to water stress in those countries entering the dry season.

It further warned that even more countries will have concerns over long term drought that can influence large rivers and reservoirs, and groundwater by the end of the 2020 dry season at the end of May.

The institute said countries with concern include Trinidad, Barbados, St Vincent, St Kitts, the ABC Islands, Cayman Islands, Belize and parts of Hispaniola and Cuba.

It said that over the last three months rainfall in the eastern Caribbean was normal to below normal, except Tobago which though predominantly normal, was slightly wet in the extreme west.

It is warning that long-term drought is evolving in the ABC Islands, Barbados, most of Belize, Cayman Islands, central Cuba, Southern Dominican Republic, St Kitts, St Vincent, and Trinidad.

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