Historic Heat for Antigua

6 10 2015

Dale C. S. Destin |

Historic heat has been taking place across most of Antigua over the past six days. From since last Wednesday (September 30), the mean maximum temperature at the V.C. Bird International Airport (VCBIA) has been 33.3 °C (92.3 °F). The highest for the period is 34.6 °C (94.3 °F) and the lowest is 32.2 °C (90.0 °F).

At the VCBIA, there has not been such a streak of high temperatures for, at least, the last 45 years. Since Wednesday, we have recorded three of the top six warmest temperatures on record: 34.6 °C– the second highest, 34.0 °C (93.2 °F)–the fifth highest and 33.9 °C (93.0 °F)–the sixth highest. The highs for the other days are now the highest relative to the given days.


Contributing significantly to this extraordinary, oppressive heat of the past week are the light winds and relative humidity. When these are factored in with the temperature, the peak heat index or feel-like-temperature for each day was around 38 °C (100 °F). On Sunday, the heat index peaked at 40 °C or 104 °F. If you were out in the direct sunshine, the temperature could have felt as high as 43 °C (110 °F)

Today, we reached the threshold for a heatwave to be declared–at least six consecutive days with the maximum temperature in the top 10% of the base period of 1971-2010 for the given days.

The heatwave will likely come to an end by this Wednesday. However, it’s likely that temperatures will remain above normal for the coming months, as the tropical North Atlantic continues to warm above normal. Our outlooks are calling for higher than normal mean, maximum and minimum temperatures for the next six months.

This is the second heatwave for the year. The other took place April 25-30.

Residents need to be heat-wise so as to avoid the potential harm of a heatwave or above normal warmth. Residents are urged to take it easy during strenuous activities from around midmorning to midafternoon, as well as drink plenty of water. That is especially true for the elderly, children and those sensitive to the heat.

Protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation to prevent sunburn is also highly recommended. The UV index is generally high all-year-round in our area, especially during days of low cloud coverage.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed. Live updates can be had from our twitter and facebook accounts.



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