Trinidad met office warns of possible dry spell for first few months of 2016

Water Source Exhaustion, Drought Land, Water Security

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Tuesday January 12, 2016 – It may be a dry couple of months for some parts of Trinidad and Tobago, according to the country’s Meteorological Service.

In its outlook for January to March this year, the met office says although there was slight improvement in dry spell conditions in Trinidad and small areas in Tobago, large parts of the twin-island republic are likely to experience dry conditions during next month and March, due to poor rainfall amounts expected over the next three months, accompanied by intense heating.

“Dry spell concerns continue for large areas of the country and are expected to increase during February and become greatest during March,” it said in its outlook yesterday.

The Meteorological Services Division (MSD) Climate Early Warning System (CEWS) Dry Spell Monitor has therefore continued a Dry Spell Warning for northwest, southwest and extreme northeast Trinidad and all of Tobago, while maintaining Dry Spell Watch over most of the remaining areas of Trinidad.

“The chances for a moderate dry spell across Trinidad and Tobago by the end of March continue to be relatively high and vary from 35 per cent to 65 per cent chance for moderate dryness,” it said.

“Even though the current El Niño has peaked and is expected to decline during the next three months, El Niño often results in a drier and hotter dry seasons in Trinidad and Tobago during its decline. This increases dry spell concerns for the February to March period.”

The met office said the likely impact of this are: a continued decline in rain-fed water availability, especially in Tobago where the shortage in rainfall has been significant; water sensitive sectors and activities continuing to be being impacted; areas with existing water challenges possibly not seeing a recovery until next wet season; and increased browning of vegetation which increases the risk of bush fires.

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