CIMH Says Drought Situation Could Impact Many Caribbean Countries


Pride magazine reports that the Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) informs the public that as the region continues through the rest of the 2020 dry season, there are serious concerns about short-term and long-term drought across the Caribbean.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) says as the region continues through the rest of the 2020 dry season, concerns exist for short-term drought that can impact soil moisture, streams and small rivers, particularly in Barbados, Belize, Guadeloupe, the ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, as well as eastern Puerto Rico.

In its January edition of the Caribbean Drought Bulletin, CIMH said the late wet season month of November, last year, was drier than normal in much of the region, adding to water stress in those countries, entering the dry season.

It warned that “even more countries will have concerns over long term drought that can influence large rivers and reservoirs, and groundwater, by the end of the 2020 dry season at the end of May”.

CIMH said countries with concern include Trinidad and Togabo, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, the ABC Islands, Cayman Islands, Belize and parts of Hispaniola and Cuba.

It said that over the last three months, rainfall in the eastern Caribbean was normal to below normal, except Tobago, which though predominantly normal, was slightly wet in the extreme west.

Trinidad was normal to moderately dry; Grenada and Antigua normal; Barbados slight to extremely dry; St. Vincent severe to extremely dry; St. Lucia moderate to extremely dry, from north to south; Martinique was normal to extremely dry, from south to north; Dominica was slight to severely dry; Guadeloupe moderate to exceptionally dry; St. Kitts slight to moderately dry; St. Maarten and St Thomas, moderately dry; and St. Croix moderate to severely dry.

In Hispaniola, apart from Haiti and western areas of the Dominican Republic that were normal, conditions were slight to exceptionally dry elsewhere. Jamaica was mostly normal, with the exception of the north western areas, which were slight to moderately dry; while over the Northern Bahamas, conditions ranged from normal to moderately dry; and in Belize from normal in the south, to severely dry in central Belize.

CIMH is warning that long term drought is evolving in the ABC Islands, Barbados, most of Belize, Cayman Islands, central Cuba, Southern Dominican Republic, St. Kitts, St. Vincent and Trinidad.

“Long term drought might possibly develop or continue in Antigua, south west Belize, Western Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique, southwest Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, and Suriname,” CIMH said, warning that “areas ending up in long term drought may experience significantly reduced water levels in large reservoirs, large rivers and groundwater during the upcoming dry season”.


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