Kalain Hosein

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) is still forecasting the next three months to be drier than usual as we head into some of the least-rainfall producing months of the Dry Season. However, the TTMS added in their latest Rainfall and Temperature Outlook that the odds for below-normal rainfall have decreased, with near-normal rainfall totals expected in February. This change in the forecast for February is a reversal from the last outlook issued at the start of the year, which called for February 2022 to be the driest month of the 2022 Dry Season.

For those worried about a drought developing, the TTMS has good news. From February through April 2022, the Met Office is forecasting between 88 percent to 93 percent of average seasonal rainfall totals. In addition, the chances of rainfall over the next three months being in the lowest 10 percent of all Dry Season totals now stand below 10 percent. Still, the TTMS notes that these drier than usual conditions will reduce water recharge rates and stream flows, impacting our water availability and supply.

The Met Office’s outlook expects the largest percentage of average seasonal rainfall totals are likely to be confined to areas along the East-West corridor and southwestern Trinidad. The highest rainfall is expected across northern and northeastern Trinidad, pockets of southeastern Trinidad and northeastern Tobago, with accumulated totals ranging between 160 millimetres to 190 millimetres.

Temperature-wise, the TTMS is still forecasting above-average temperatures across all usual metrics: minimum lows, averages, and maximum highs. The Met Office says the greatest odds for warmer than average nights and warmer than average days are located in the cities, most urban and built-up areas. T&T could see peak maximum temperatures between late March through April, near 33.5°C.

Trinidad has recorded two nights at Piarco where temperatures dipped below 20°C for 2022, on January 5th and January 29th. However, the country still could experience one or two more cold nights in the coming weeks. The TTMS said “There is still a reasonably good chance for at least one very cold night during February and March when temperatures can fall below 20.0°C.”