Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Heat in the place: Hot spells forecast for September-November

If it seems hotter than usual this month, it's not your imagination.

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service is warning of hot spells and maximum temperatures in its Temperature Outlook for September-November, 2020. 

The Met Office forecast a greater than 70 per cent chance of maximum day and night minimum temperatures along with the chance of short duration hot-spells for September and early October.

Hot spells indicate days where the maximum temperature will exceed 33.9 degrees Celsius in Trinidad and 32 degrees Celsius in Tobago. The Met Office said September and October days and nights are forecast to be the warmest during the period.

Urban areas are due to suffer even more as the Met Office warned that concerns for the number of hot days and nights are even higher in cities and urban areas:

‘Usually, September is the hottest month of the wet season and the peak of the local heat season. September 2020 is likely to be just as hot with warmer than average maximum temperatures, especially in the cities and urban-areas.’

The Met Office said some of the population may feel uncomfortable as a result of these high temperatures and high humidity: 

'Higher than usual and extreme temperatures can lead to relatively excessive heat during the peak of the local heat season, which can amplify existing health conditions in vulnerable persons and worsen chronic health conditions in others.'

Additionally, the Met Office said there is likely to be a Petite Careme this year, bringing even more dry, hot conditions from mid-September to mid-October.


Average rainfall, four wet spells forecast for September-November 2020

Meanwhile, the Met Office has forecast near-normal rainfall totals in most areas for the period, however it has warned of at least four wet spells.

The Met Office said there is a chance of higher than normal wet days during this period.

 As a result, there is still a potential for flash and riverine flooding.

‘Much above-normal rainfall during August would have soaked soils and increased river levels. As such, riverine flood potential increases while flash flooding concerns remain elevated during the forecast period, particularly for flood-prone areas and within watersheds with narrow valleys and steep hill-sides.’

There is also an increased risk for landslides and landslips as a result of these rainfall events.

As a result the public is urged to closely monitor the weather forecasts and strengthen coordination with disaster management units in their municipalities.

The public should also prepare contingency plans for adverse weather events, including high wind events, and people living in flood risk areas should continue or maintain their flood planning and  preparedness efforts.

Looking at 2021, the Met Office said December 2020 to February 2021 is likely to be wetter than usual with a greater than 40 per cent chance in most areas across both islands for accumulated rainfall totals to be in the above normal category.

For the full report see here:  

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