Record Heat for October 2015

30 11 2015

Dale C. S. Destin |

A number of temperature records were broken or equalled during October across much of Antigua and Barbuda. The first day of October, we measured at the at the Met Office, located V. C. Bird International Airport (VCBIA), the highest temperature on record for the month – 34.0 °C (93.2 °F), and the fifth highest for all months dating back to 1971.


We also recorded the second highest temperature for October – 33.9 °C (93.0 °F), and the sixth highest ever recorded at VCBIA.

These extreme temperatures were a part of a heatwave which began on September 30 and continued through October 7. During this time, the daily maximum temperatures were at record high or among the 10 percent highest temperatures for the given period.

The eventual mean daily maximum temperature (the mean of highest temperature for each day) was 31.2 °C (88.2 °F) or 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) warmer than normal. It tied with five other Octobers for the highest for the month.

Meanwhile, relative to October, minimum temperatures were quite oppressive. Many nights saw record or near record high minimum temperatures. There was a record number of “warm nights” (minimum temperature among the top 10 percent highest) – 12, shattering the previous record of 8 the month.

The mean minimum temperature (the mean of lowest temperature for each day) tied with that of October 2001 for the highest on record for the month.

The mean minimum temperature – 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) was 1.1 °C (2.0 °F) higher than normal. The excess (anomaly) above the usual mean minimum temperature for October was around twice that of the excess above the usual mean maximum temperature. Thus, the cooling that normally occurs at night did not take place, allowing for very little needed respite from the heat.

The overall, the mean daily temperature was also near record high – 28.1 °C (82.6 °F) or 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) higher than normal. It tied with 2001 for the third highest for October.

Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) around Antigua and Barbuda were also at record high levels for the month – 29.6 °C (85.3 °F) or 0.9 °C (1.6 °F) warmer than usual and tied with 2013 for the warmest SSTs for our area for October, dating back to 1854.


October also saw record high SSTs across the tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea – 28.6 °C (83.5 °F) or 0.7 °C (1.3 °F) higher than normal.

On a global scale, it was the warmest October on record with the global mean surface temperature was near 15.0 °C (59.0 °F) or 1.0 °C (1.8 °F) higher than usual.

Much of the warmth across Antigua and Barbuda and the rest of the region were due to the persistent weak nature of the Atlantic high pressure system, mainly during September, which translated into light winds that allowed for SSTs to soar.

We will let you know if this warm trend continued through November, shortly.

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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