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Possible Ease In Drought Conditions

Published:Monday | October 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

While the analysis has not been completed to determine whether drought conditions have improved, Jeffery Spooner, director of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, is reporting that there has been an appreciable amount of rainfall since the start of the month.

Spooner told The Gleaner yesterday there could be a shift in earlier predictions that indicated that the country could experience below-normal rainfall throughout the year.

"What we said was, it is expected that the country will receive below-normal rainfall. It's still early days, so I don't know if we are getting above-normal rainfall, but what we can safely say is that we have been having an appreciable amount of rainfall," he said.

"I have not been able to follow where exactly it has been raining; however, looking at the satellite picture, we are actually in the middle of an area of cloud and showers and we expect that the rains will continue," Spooner told The Gleaner.

He added: "As a technical person, I can't say a drought is broken unless we have done the analysis, and we will be completing that soon."

He also noted that it would take consistent showers to ease drought conditions.

"Drought is not just a mere absence of rain which will be alleviated with heavy showers; it is actually 60 per cent or less of normal rainfall for eight consecutive weeks. October is usually a rainy month and we have been getting fairly decent rains," he said.

Jamaicans have been feeling the impact of what has been described as the worst drought in five years. In addition, projections from experts have revealed that the country should not expect any significant relief anytime soon.

However, Jamaicans have been encountering heavy showers since a trough induced by Hurricane Joaquin moved across Jamaica and the central Caribbean in addition to heavy rains yesterday.