Out of drought - Met Office
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
Predictions that the severe drought conditions that the country had been experiencing could continue into April next year have been washed away by heavy rains over most of the country and the Meteorological Service of Jamaica is declaring that "the island on a whole, is out of drought".
However, its director, Jeffery Spooner, is advising that citizens should still remain cautious as conditions are still not back to normal.
"I can safely say there have been some improvements with respect to the drought conditions. Just about four parishes at the end of August were [still] experiencing drought, [and] if we are looking at the overall data, conditions are not so severe," he told The Gleaner.
"I must point out, however, that even though we are outside of drought now, we are not expecting normal rain as we move forward, especially those parishes that experienced severe dry conditions earlier this year. Overall, it's a marginal improvement and we are grateful," Spooner said.
Challenges in the east
Similarly, Jacqueline Spence, section head of Applied Meteorology at the Meteorological Service of Jamaica said though there will be improvements, the eastern parishes would still have some challenges.
"St Thomas, Portland and St Mary, unfortunately, were the parishes that were hit hardest by the dry spell, so they will still be experiencing some level of drought because if we observe what is happening, rainfall has been heaviest over the central and western parishes," she said.
"We are hoping that the October rains will bring things back to normal, but we should not forget that come December, we go into another dry season, so we still have to be careful. For now, we can say there have been some positive changes," Spence said.