Record Breaking Rainfall over the Past Two Years

29 03 2012

As we continue to see a drying trend across our area, the record shows that the past two years ending February 2012 was the wettest on record. The total for the period March 2010 to February 2012 was 129.80 inches; the previous highest was 129.72 inches recorded over the period March 1951 to February 1953; this was 59 years ago. The normal rainfall for this period is 93.88 inches. Recall that prior to the past very wet period, we had a serious drought during the second half of 2009 through early 2010. We may be heading into another Meteorological Drought over the next few months.

World Meteorological Day 2012

21 03 2012

The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service (ABMS) will be celebrating World Met Day with the rest of the worldwide meteorological community and any who want to join us on March 23, 2012. The theme for this year’s observance is “Powering our future with weather, climate and water”. This theme was chosen in particular to illustrate the benefits provided by information on weather, climate and water to different socio-economic sectors and their key contributions towards human safety and well-being. This day is celebrated each year on March 23 to commemorate the genesis of the World Meteorological Organization in 1950.

In partnership with ABS TV, excerpts of the ABMS’s activities will be interspersed within regular television programming throughout that day. This will include the World Met Day Speech, to be read by the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Tourism, Aviation and Culture. Members of the public are also welcome to visit the Met Office on World Met Day and interact with members of staff including the Director of Meteorology. Please see World Met Day 2012 Message by Michel Jarraud – Secretary-General of WMO:
Text Message
Video Message

First Product of the Restarted Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum

9 03 2012

The first product of the restarted Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum – CARICOF is now available. It’s the Precipitation Outlook for the Caribbean for the period March – May. According to the CARICOF, the distinction in rainfall between the above normal South-eastern Caribbean and the below normal North-western Caribbean continues but with decreasing certainty. Some regional data suggest that the Eastern Caribbean may be moving toward a period of normal to below normal rainfall, but it is believed, that as the many global models indicate, the Eastern Caribbean will maintain its normal to above normal characteristic for a bit longer. Normal conditions are expected in the northernmost portion of the eastern including Antigua and Barbuda. However, further west, there is no clear signal in the region of Hispaniola, Jamaica, southern Cuba, and Belize; thus, there is an equal chance of rainfall being above, near or below normal. However, most models agree on the below normal conditions persisting in the northwest Caribbean around northern Cuba and The Bahamas. Larger view of the below product

Precipitation Outlook for the Caribbean - Mar to May 2012

Precipitation Outlook for the Caribbean - Mar to May 2012

The march towards the restart of the CARICOF, which was initiated in 1998, started a little less than two years ago with a workshop convened in June 2010 in Barbados. Since then, there have been a number of activities to get the Forum restarted, including an international workshop in Dakar Senegal in June-July 2011. Last week, the many activities of the past 21 months culminated in the official launch of the CARICOF in Barbados on March 2, 2012.  Leading up to the launch, there were two separate but complementary activities: a technical training workshop (Feb 27 – 29) and a partnership workshop (Mar 1). The training workshop provided meteorological and climatological personnel from the Caribbean including Belize, Guyana and Surinam, with knowledge to develop and utilize relevant information and tools, including forecasts. The partnership workshop brought together key partners and users of information in order to help develop a dialogue on the value and utility of available information and tools.

Climate variability and change pose significant risk for many regions of the world, including the Caribbean Region. Thus, early warning information systems are critical components of preparedness, risk reduction and adaptation. With the aid of the World Meteorological Organization, Regional Outlook Fora (RCOF) are active in many parts of the world. These RCOFs are critical for the development and effectiveness of early warning systems; they provide seasonal climate forecasts and interpretation across relevant time and special scales. The CARICOF seeks to do likewise in an effort to support adaptation and disaster risk reduction in our region.

Technical and financial support for the restart of the CARICOF came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH).

See the following link for climate products relative to Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda Met Service Climate Section

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