(CMC) – The Barbados-based Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CDPMN) says while some parts of the Caribbean have been receiving below-normal rainfall in the past few months, there are concerns for short-term drought situations only in St. Lucia and The Bahamas.
The CDPMN, which operates in collaboration with the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) and the World Meteorological Organization’s Regional Climate Centre (RCC) for the Caribbean, said the concerns in the two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are that the situation could impact streams, small rivers and crop performance by the end of January 2019.
In its latest Caribbean Drought Bulletin, the CDPMN said that it is recommending that water resources be monitored in these two countries.
“However, there is great concern over long-term drought in northern Belize where large rivers and groundwater can be impacted,” it added.
According to the CDPMN, the current drought situation, up to the end of September, shows that Antigua, northern Belize and the southern-most part of Hispaniola have seen long-term drought developing.
It said shorter term drought is seen in northern Belize, St. Lucia and Tobago, and that long-term drought situation, by end of November this year, is evolving in northern Belize.
The bulletin notes that during the period July to August this year, apart from Barbados that was slightly dry to moderately wet, and Trinidad that was slightly dry to moderately wet, rainfall totals in the islands of the eastern Caribbean were normal to below normal for the three-month period.
It said Tobago ranged from exceptionally dry in the west to normal in the east; Grenada, Antigua and St. Kitts normal; St. Vincent extremely dry; St. Lucia extreme to exceptionally dry from north to south; Martinique moderate to severely dry.
According to the Barbados-based organisation, Dominica experienced normal to moderately dry rainfall, Guadeloupe normal to severely dry, and St. Maarten moderately dry.
“Conditions in the Guianas ranged from exceptionally wet in northern Guyana to normal in eastern Guyana, across northern Suriname into western French Guiana. Aruba was moderately dry, but Curacao normal. Apart from in the west that was slightly dry, Puerto Rico was normal; but Hispaniola ranged from extremely dry in the south to normal in the east and northwest.
“Conditions in Jamaica ranged from extremely dry in the northwest to slightly wet in the east, while Grand Cayman was normal. Cuba and northern Bahamas ranged from normal to moderately dry. Belize was normal in the south to severely dry in the northwest,” it added.