KALAIN HOSEIN

On September 14th, Trinidad recorded its highest temperature for 2020 to date, a scorching 34.8°C at Piarco.  Over the last four days, Trinidad’s maximum highs at Piarco have not relented below the 34°C mark.

September to October is the warmest period of the second half of the local heat season, with September typically the hottest month, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS).

In their “Rainfall and Temperature Outlook for Trinidad and Tobago, September to November 2020,” the TTMS is calling for a 72% chance for an above-average day maximum and night minimum temperatures for Trinidad and Tobago through the outlook period.

“Warmer than usual days and nights are expected during September, October, and November 2020 with day-time and night-time temperatures very likely to be warmer than average,” the Met Service says.

Concerns for an increase in the number of hot days and short duration hot spells remain elevated for September and early October.  The TTMS defines a hot day as one where maximum temperatures greater than 33.9°C in Trinidad and greater than 32°C in Tobago, occur.  Also, the concern for an increased number of hot days and warm nights are higher in cities and urban areas, such as Port of Spain and Chaguanas.

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. Several days between September and October are likely to feel uncomfortable due to high temperatures and high humidity values.

These high temperatures are on the heels of a record-warm August 2020 for Trinidad and Tobago. The country tied for the sixth warmest August on record, with temperatures going back 76 years at Piarco. According to the 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.