Jamaica is set to experience increased temperatures and low levels of rainfall throughout the remainder of the hurricane season.
The disclosure was made by Evan Thompson, Director of the Meteorological Services Branch and President of the Regional Association (RA) IV of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
He noted that the increase in temperatures resulted from the El Niño system. El Niño is the term used to refer to warmer-than-usual ocean surface temperatures near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean.
“The temperatures are likely to be above normal going through the hurricane season, even if it’s just one degree above normal that is significant for many of us, and it will be felt,” said Thompson.
Thompson was speaking at press briefing today (June 14) when he made the disclosure.
RAINFALL TO DECREASE
The meteorologist also noted that the island will experience a decrease in rainfall throughout the rest of the hurricane season, in contrast to the heavy rains that washed the island late last month.
“Whenever there is a transition of season, moving from the winter season, or what we call the dry season to the hurricane season, it usually is characterised by an increase in the rainfall,” said Thompson.
Increased rainfall is recorded in two peak seasons, one in October and one in May or early June.
However, he noted that at the end of these seasons, rainfall levels reduce, and “it is not expected to be a sustained rainfall increase across the country throughout the next few months”.
Additionally, he noted that this means Jamaica will still have to observe water restrictions placed to combat the meteorological drought.
“It is a meteorological fact that you are getting more rain, and there is relief from drought, but it does not mean we are out of the woods,” said Thompson.
He continued, “If our aquifers are not filled, and if our reservoirs are not filled, we are still in a position where we could realise we do not have enough water to sustain ourselves going through the rest of the year, so we have to bare that in mind.”
The months of July and August are projected to have reduced levels of rainfall.