Pacific weather system could signal drought

The return of a weather phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean could spell bad fortunes for the country’s dire water situation.

Local Climatologist Dale Destin confirmed that the recent return of the weather feature known as El Nino could lead to lower rainfall later this year.

“For us in the Caribbean, it does one good thing and a bad thing. It will likely reduce the number of hurricanes or tropical cyclones forming in the Atlantic, but it will likely result in reduced rainfall for us here in the Caribbean,” he said. “…We know reduced rainfall is not what we want to see for a second or third year running.”

The El Nino means that sea-surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific are elevated and local rainfall patterns are shifting in response.

Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), based in the US, which is a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere, is reporting the system looks like a very weak El Niño, with only a 50 to 60 per cent chance of lasting through summer.

They have also reported the weather feature is not expected to alter global weather patterns very drastically.

While this is great news for countries like Peru, which will experience fewer floods, countries in the Caribbean may be shuttled into drought conditions.

Meantime, Destin said despite the belief by some residents that the climate of the country is changing, there is now a “dramatic shift” in climatic conditions here.

However, the climatologist said based on dating back to 1928, the months of April and June are showing significant changes.

“April is showing statistically significant increase in rainfall, while June is showing a significant decrease in rainfall,” Destin noted.