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Rainfall Shocked even Met Service, Jamaicans

Published:Tuesday | July 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Monday evening's rare, welcome shower came as a shocker to even Jamaica's director of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, Jeffery Spooner.

In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, he noted that based on the speed of the event that occurred, it would not have been picked up easily by weather experts.

"There is a weak surface trough across the island in addition to a tropical wave that is moving across the country. A combination of both resulted in the rainfall event we had last night," he said.

"There was a breakdown in the winds and as a result, we had this sort of land breeze, where the winds were moving back from land to sea, meeting on moist air coming off the sea, which resulted in some rapid convection. That is why the thunderstorms were so strong and is (sic) something that we would not have easily detected," Spooner further explained.

despair over drought

Jamaicans were plunged into despair last week as Evan Thompson, senior meteorologist at the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, announced that citizens should not expect any significant relief, anytime soon, from the sweltering heat wave and drought that have been affecting the island.

He said, "The projection for the next few weeks is still grim. We are not expecting any significant rainfall. We've been having some features that have been restricting the kind of development of rainfall that we would have wanted," he told a Gleaner Editors' Forum held at the company's North Street head office, downtown Kingston.

Spooner said yesterday that he was hopeful that as the tropical wave passed the island, some showers would accompany it.

"The passage of the tropical wave occurs every three to five days, and sometimes as it passes, it carries with it rainfall, so we are hoping that we will get some welcome showers as it passes," he said.

He also urged persons not to become complacent, noting that it is still early days in the hurricane season.

"We are just in July, and during this time, it is not customary for systems to develop so quickly, not saying it can't happen. My guide, however, is for persons to be vigilant and keep themselves informed as one single event can result in devastation," he charged.

The hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30.