Met Office boss: Improvement in rainfall likely in months ahead Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaica’s rainfall outlook for the next 12 weeks is likely to gradually improve, head of Meteorological Service of Jamaica Evan Thompson has said. 

The disclosure was made at Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, which was focused on the ongoing drought conditions impacting sections of Jamaica, especially the western parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland. 

Several farmers have been complaining bitterly about the absence of rainfall affecting their crops and livestock, while some residents have expressed frustration about the lack of water in their pipes, hampering their efforts to do daily chores.

“Looking at… the rainfall outlook for April, May and June, we see that there is some improvement that is likely to occur,” declared Thompson.

“It probably will not set in immediately, because we are in the month of April and, as we see in this forecast here or outlook, it shows that the western part of the island will continue to experience quite a bit of dryness, even more so than the rest of the country.

“Others (parishes) will start to see the rainfall coming in, and we expect it to become above normal, but this might happen more towards the end of this period; this is in May, in June when we expect the secondary rainfall peak to occur across the country,” Thompson explained. 

Hanover and Westmoreland are showing 40 per cent likelihood of the drying trend to continue, the Met Office boss said.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness revealed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday that Jamaica was in the throes of a meteorological, hydrological and agricultural drought.

The Government has allocated $150 million to facilitate the trucking of water and procurement and distribution of water tanks to parts of the country experiencing drought conditions. 

Thompson reminded that country was in the traditional dry season, which runs from December to April. 

During that period, he said drought will occasionally occur, and that has been the case for the past two years, for example. 

Pointing to the rainfall trends, Thompson said that in October of 2022, Jamaica experienced below 80 per cent rainfall, but the figures continued to fall in the following months up to February of 2023 when the country experienced its “most intense drought period in history”. 

He said the current drought period is not as severe as last year’s event.