DROUGHT WATCH in effect towards end of 2019 Dry Season

With projections for rainfall from the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) through the Dominica Meteorological Service trending to below than what is normal, a strain on water resources is expected towards the end of April 2019. The dry season, already in progress, runs from December to May with December and May serving as transition months into the dry and wet seasons, respectively.

Dominica came from a wet season with rainfall totals that were normal to above normal in some parts of the island. Therefore, scarcity does not present much of a problem at this time. However, since the island is now in its period where rainfall amounts are generally decreasing, receiving less than normal rainfall amounts throughout the period is expected to have some implications for rainfall reliant industries and generally dry locations such as communities along the west coast. Accompanied by projections for above normal temperatures, the chances of bush fires this season are also increased.

A weak El Niño is contributing to this reduced rainfall amounts across parts of the Eastern Caribbean and strongly supports the forecast for below normal rainfall until the end of April. The possibility of these extremely dry conditions and possible drought unfolding is much higher for islands in the southern Caribbean such as Barbados and Grenada.

With that in mind, the Dominica Meteorological Service is advising the public and relevant sectors to practice conservation and proper storage measures in the likelihood of low water availability. The Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the hydro-meteorological conditions and provide necessary updates.

CariCOF climate outlooks are prepared by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology along with the Meteorological services from around the Caribbean basin to aid in sectoral decision-making.