Destin says that forecasters predict a drier than usual year, with rainfall averaging 42.6 inches; conservation is advised

Forecasters are predicting a drier than usual year for Antigua and Barbuda, as drought conditions persist.

Meteorologist Dale Destin says his early forecast calls for the total rainfall his year to be around 42.6 inches, with a 70 percent (or high) confidence of it being in the range of 33.3 to 53.3 inches.

Destin says the highest probability – which is 39 percent – is for below-normal rainfall; hence, the predictions for a “most likely” drier-than-normal year.

He says the numbers can also be interpreted as a 74 percent chance of below or near-normal rainfall for 2023.

According to Destin, it is also very unlikely that the year will be wetter than normal, since the chance of that happening is only 26 percent. Reportedly, there has been only one such year in over a decade, and that was 2020, Destin says.

While the causes for the below-normal rainfall forecast are not known, El Niño is likely to develop during the next three months and continue throughout the year.

He says that El Niños usually cause reduced rainfall, especially during the wet season in our area, by causing subsidence and vertical wind shear, which make it difficult for rain clouds to form.

The forecaster says that a typical year, based on the new standard climate period 1991-2020, averages 45.54 inches.

Destin says that after starting out relatively wet, the dry season, January to June, is now most likely to experience near-normal rainfall with a 38 percent chance.

According to Destin, “Regardless of the forecast, we all need to conserve water and be as efficient with its use as much as possible.”

He says reducing our personal water footprint will literally redound to the socio-economic benefit of all.  It will also reduce water scarcity and stress; is good for the climate and environment; and good for our pockets.