Met Office declares start of dry season

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service has officially announced the start of this year’s dry season.

The announcement came in a statement from the Met Office on January 6.

Acting chief climatologist Kenneth Kerr said compared to last year’s record-breaking wetter than usual dry season, this year’s is likely to produce less rainfall than usual.

The Met Office said the expected lack of rainfall will reduce surface water flows and rain-fed water availability. An increase of surface dryness as the season progresses is expected. This will increase the potential for bush, grass, forest and landfill fires.

The statement said these fires can lead to deterioration in air quality and cause stress to those with respiratory conditions.

February-April is expected to be the driest period of the season. Though warmer than average temperatures are expected both during the day and at night, there will be a few relatively chilly nights where temperatures will fall below 20 degrees due to relatively colder air being funnelled into the region from the sub-tropical high pressure system and migrating weather systems from colder latitudes.

The Met Office said the country is likely to see an increase in the frequency of hazardous sea conditions, Sahara dust haze and environmental conditions that increase fires.

It advised the public to conserve, store and manage water sustainably and warned againstburning rubbish in grassy or forested areas. The statement said relevant agencies and ministries have also been advised to take measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the dry season.

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