La Niña conditions affecting weather pattern in Caribbean
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) says the potential for floods and cascading hazards should be moderate to high in the Caribbean from December to February next year.
In its latest publication, CariCOF said with La Niña conditions should be moderate to high in the Caribbean and Belize until December, and high in the coastal Guianas until early February.
La Niña is a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean.
In this pattern, strong winds blow warm water at the ocean's surface from South America to Indonesia.
As the warm water moves west, cold water from the deep rises to the surface near the coast of South America.
CariCOF said that long-term drought is evolving in southern Belize and short-term drought in southeast Belize, Cayman Islands, Cuba, western Jamaica and northwest Puerto Rico.
“Frequent, short dry spells are expected from Hispaniola westward, potentially affecting unprotected crops. On a bright note, seasonably cool temperatures and a low chance of particularly dry conditions will lead to the relatively slow depletion of water resources and the rate of increase in the fire potential.”
CariCOF said that rainfall totals from December to February are likely to be at best as low as usual in the Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola and the US Caribbean territories, but at least as high as usual in the ABC islands, namely, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago
CariCOF said that moderate shorter-term drought has developed in Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, and St. Barth's, while short term drought is evolving in Cayman Islands, Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico and may develop at the end of February next year or continue in Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Jamaica, Martinique and Puerto Rico.
Long-term drought is evolving in southeast Belize and in Dominica and might possibly develop or continue in the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Martinique, Sint Maarten / St-Martin, St Vincent, and the United States Virgin islands until May next year.
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