KALAIN HOSEIN

Trinidad and Tobago tied for the sixth warmest August on record, with temperatures going back 76 years at Piarco.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) Preliminary Climate Overview, both islands experienced a warmer than average August 2020.

The TTMS recorded one hot spell between August 24th and August 28th, where Trinidad recorded maximum high temperatures at or above 34.0°C. However, the TTMS noted that the month’s highest recorded temperature occurred on August 15th, outside of the brief heatwave.

Tobago also recorded several hot days, with the maximum highest temperature recorded on the island at 33.4°C on August 27th. The other hottest day occurred on August 10th, with a maximum high of 33.0°C.

When it came to rainfall, August 2020 delivered across both islands with rainfall 68% above average at Piarco, Trinidad, and 43% above average at Crown Point, Tobago.

Rainfall accumulation at Piarco was the 3rd wettest on record and the wettest August on record in the last 27 years. Officially, 443.9 millimetres of rainfall was recorded during the month. Only August of 1949 with 464.7 mm and August of 1993 with 448.8 mm were wetter.

At Crown Point, Tobago, 263.3 millimetres of rainfall made August 2020 the fourth wettest month in the 50 years of record-keeping at the site. It was bested only by August of 2007 with 317.1 mm, 2017 with 276.0 mm, and 1988 with 238.3 mm.

During August, Trinidad recorded three heavy rainfall days, defined as days where more than (or equal to) 50 millimetres of rainfall were recorded at Piarco.

The first and heaviest occurred on August 7th, where 89.3 millimetres of rainfall fell across the island, triggering street, flash, and riverine flooding, with several minor rivers bursting their banks. The Caroni River Basin was placed under a Riverine Flood Alert (Yellow Level) for several hours.

The second heavy rainfall day occurred on August 17th as back-to-back tropical waves, and the ITCZ affected both Trinidad and Tobago with 85.9 millimetres recorded at Piarco and 43.6 millimetres recorded at Crown Point, Tobago.

The third heaviest rainfall day across Trinidad occurred on August 30th, where 59.8 millimeters of rainfall was recorded at Piarco. Overnight into the 31st, strong thunderstorms moved across Trinidad, producing severe flash flooding across the East-West Corridor, with Arouca and Arima the worst affected.