Sunday 29 November, 2020

Prepare for floods, says Met Office in 2020 Wet Season Outlook

File photo.

File photo.

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service is warning the public to prepare for elevated flooding risks for June to August.

The Met Office issued its Wet Season Outlook for 2020, in which it forecast above-normal rainfall in June, July and August, and an elevated risk for flooding. 

Additionally, the Met Office recorded sea surface temperatures as high as 26°C in the first half of the year, heating ocean temperatures and leading to forecasts of an above-normal hurricane season this year. 

This was caused in part by increased bush fires during the Dry Season along with extremely dry months, with April 2020 being the second driest month in 75 years. 

The Met Office said rainfall should be around average from September-November, however above normal rainfall is forecast for most of the rainy season.

The Met Office forecast possible total rainfall accumulations of 2,360 mm (over seven feet) of rainfall over the entire wet season period in parts of North-east Trinidad alone.

The Met Office said there’s a chance for up to two days with rainfall greater than 50 mm during the June-July-August period.

The Met Office said there may likely be over six seven-day wet spells over the rainy season with one or two of them being very wet and one being extremely wet.

 Prepare, prepare, prepare

The Met Office is urging stakeholders to take drastic action to prepare for these events through the following:

  • Monitor Met Office forecasts closely
  • Revisit emergency plans
  • Update flood action plans
  • Review communication strategies
  • Refresh media training
  • Reinforce coordination with disaster management personnel
  • Procure emergency and essential supplies
  • Prepare contingency plans
  • Prepare utilities – clear dry branch and tree over-hang from power lines

Residents in flood-prone areas are urged to reach out to their MPs and local government councillors for information on disaster management planning and updates.


How heavy is a rainshower?

According to the UK Meteorological Office, rain is defined as liquid water droplets that fall from the atmosphere, having diameters greater than drizzle (0.5 mm).

Rain is classified as ‘slight’, ‘moderate’, or ‘heavy’, as follows:

Slight: 0-2mm

Moderate: 2-10mm

Heavy: 10-50mm

Violent: Greater than 50mm 

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