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Treasure water resources as days stay hot - Met Service

Published:Wednesday | April 20, 2016 | 4:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

Evan Thompson, senior meteorologist at the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, is warning Jamaicans to value water resources as, despite projections for increased rainfall, cooler temperatures might not be on the cards.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the Earth's current streak of record high temperatures has hit 11 months, the longest time frame in history.

Thompson told The Gleaner that there is a high possibility that heat levels during the summer could surpass previous years.

"What was forecasted is rainfall, and we did say that we are expecting that we will get back to normal rainfall or even surpass the normal average, but that does not translate into cooler temperatures," Thompson said.

"It could still be warmer than normal as we go into the summer period."

He added: "We have been seeing where every month seems to be the warmest of that month on record. January was the warmest January, February was the warmest February, and going back a number of months. It seems that global warming is picking up; Jamaica is, in fact, seeing the warmer trend, especially in the nights."

 

WARNING TO POLICYMAKERS

 

He warned against complacency and urged policymakers to do what is necessary to conserve on water resources.

"With warmer temperatures, we focus on making sure that plants and humans are hydrated properly. Water is going to be even more important, so it's a matter of valuing the water resources we have. Although we are getting more rainfall, we are still going to need water because things are drying out a lot faster because of the heat. We have to harvest where necessary," he charged.

According to NOAA, the 11 heat records in a row smash a streak of 10 set in 1944. The records set in March keep on coming. March was 2.2 degrees F warmer than the 20th-century average. That's a record for most above average for any month, breaking the mark set only the month before.

The first three months of the year were 2.07 degrees F warmer than normal and half a degree warmer than the previous record start set last year.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com