Relatively Very Wet Weekend Possible for Parts of the Northeast Caribbean

4 02 2022

Dale C. S. Destin |

A cold front looks poised to cause a relatively very wet weekend across much of the northeast Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda. Several reliable models are forecasting possible rainfall totals of 25 to 76 mm (1 to 2 in) to fall over the period Friday to Sunday.

Proxy visible satellite image

The potential total of 76 mm in 48 to 72 hours is not in and of itself a high figure. However, relative to February, this is a lot of water. The average rainfall for the second month of the year is 50.0 mm (1.97 in). This means we could welcome more than the average for the month, in a few days.

After this weekend, this February could be the wettest since 2004, ranking among the top 10, on record. Only seven Februarys, on record dating back to 1928, had more than 76 mm (3 in) of rainfall.

GFS model indicating 30-40% chance of more than 25 mm in 24 hours ending 8 am (12 UTC) Saturday, 5 Feb, 2022

If the models prove right, this weekend would easily be the wettest in, at least, 16 weeks and the wettest month in four months. Some parts of the country could see a record wet first week of February. The record for February 1-7, at the Airport, is 54.8 mm (2.16 in), which occurred in 2002. We could also see the 24-hour rainfall accumulation, across some parts of the island, exceed 25.4 mm or one inch, for the first time since 2004 and the fourth time on record.

Notwithstanding the potential for a relatively very wet weekend, this will have minimal impact on the droughts. It will likely have a big impact on domestic catchments but virtually no impact on the island’s catchments.

There is no doubt that these showers would be welcome by all; however, they could prove very disruptive to the ongoing ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which climaxes this weekend, with the final and third-place position. It will likely also be disruptive to other outdoor events.

The system has already caused wet weather across Hispaniola and Puerto Rico with isolated totals of up to 203 mm (8 in). If this amount were to reach us, it would cause absolutely wet conditions and place a dent in the drought, but it is very unlikely that we will get this lucky.

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