Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Westmoreland, Hanover experiencing severe drought

Published:Friday | February 10, 2017 | 2:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Evan Thompson

The Meteoro-logical Service of Jamaica has declared a number of parishes as experi-encing drought, but noted that Westmoreland and Hanover are most severe.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Evan Thompson, head at the Meteorological Office, said that despite the country experiencing a deficit in rainfall, he expects that conditions will improve by May.

"We generally expect conditions to be dry, but those two parishes are worst. One is actually experiencing what we call a severe drought and the other is experiencing extreme drought, which means it's under 20 per cent of what is normal," Thompson said.

EXPECTING NORMALitY SOON

"Clarendon and Manchester are pretty dry as well. However, May is traditionally our rainy season and we do expect it to be a normal season. We should be able to see some water coming back into the aquifers."

He said going forward, Jamaicans should expect normal conditions in addition to improved rainfall.

"The projection right now is that we would have nearly normal conditions over the period. Right now we are having a deficit, the past couple months have been pretty dry, primarily over the western end of the island; the figures are very low," Thompson noted.

"However, over the next few months, we expect that it would be near normal. We are likely to continue to experience some kind of drought continuing throughout the dry season, which continues until about May. After that, things should start to level off again and we get back to almost normal conditions."