Summer drought fears continue

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A local climatologist has warned that the extreme dry weather that plagued the country through much of 2014 could make a comeback.

Dale Destinof the Antigua Meteorological Services said while higher than average rainfall late last year has alleviated the longstanding drought, that situation could change by the second quarter of 2015.

“There’s the potential for a moderate drought to come back into play by the end of May 2015. That’s our outlook for the possibility of a moderate drought or worse coming into play by May,” he said.

“The probability that we gave to it is one of between 35 and 49 per cent,” he added.

While this year’s rainfall has helped to maintain only slight drought conditions, Destin adds that it was too soon to say whether January’s rainfall was above or below average expectations. However, the climatologist has projected that the first three months of the year will see above average rainfall.

“The projection for January, February and March doesn’t necessarily single out any month, it’s the forecast for the period so it’s quite possible to get a month where the rainfall is below normal, one that is normal and another that’s above … so it is not a projection of any individual month,” he said.

Meanwhile, Destin added that the Met Office has begun publishing a monthly newsletter to help keep the public abreast of changes on the meteorological scene. Destin said the publication is a new platform for productions and services the met office already offers.

“The first one is the one that’s out now, dated January 2015, but in terms of the items that it references, those have been in production for a while now so basically one of the aims of the newsletter is to highlight these products and give the public more detailed information,” he said.

The newsletter can be found on antigumet.com. Twitter users can also follow the met office at twitter.com/anumetservice

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