Will it rain this Christmas in Antigua and Barbuda?

19 12 2012

By Dale C. S. Destin

With just over a week to go to Christmas, the question being asked is whether it will be a dry or wet day. In the North American and European context, a white Christmas caused by snowy weather is greatly desired by many; however, in the Caribbean and tropical context, a sunny Christmas is most desired.

Unfortunately, it is still a little too early to say exactly what the weather will be in Antigua on the big day, but it does look like there will be cloudy skies with showers. Thus, a wet Christmas may be in the making. Actually, it is looking more and more like a wet few days from Sunday to Tuesday as a result of a frontal system. It also means that temperatures are likely to be cold (in the Antiguan context) with temperatures in the lower 20’s °C or upper 60’s/lower 70’s °F.

The current Antigua Met Service CliSec Forecast for the next seven days suggests that fair conditions will take place through Friday; thereafter, the chance of showers will increase through Saturday with showers likely Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Historically, the probability of a wet day (define as rainfall >= 1.0 mm) on Christmas is 37% and the probability of a heavy rainfall day (define as rainfall >= 10.0 mm) is 7%. For Christmas Eve, the probability of a wet day is 45% and the probability of a heavy rainfall day is 8%. Based on these numbers, we are due for a wet or heavy rainfall day for Christmas Eve and Christmas. A day defined here as 8 AM to 8 AM; thus, Christmas is 8 AM Tuesday to 8 AM Wednesday.

Of course, we will continue to update the forecast as Christmas draws closer.

So if you are in search of a sunny Christmas signs are that many of us may be a little disappointed.  The last three Christmases have been dry (less than 1.0 mm). The wettest Christmas Eve and Christmas on record were 1981. See the following graph:


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