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Driest year since 1947

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

Driest year since 1947

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Barbados is facing a serious drought with rainfall in 2019 being the lowest since 1947.

The Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) has urged authorities to implement measures to mitigate fallout from a dry period now expected to last deep into 2020, probably to the end of September.

After the low numbers were revealed during a press conference at the CIMH’s headquarters at Husbands, St James, general manager of the Barbados Water Authority, Keithroy Halliday, and Acting Chief Agricultural Officer Charleston Lucas confirmed they had started programmes to deal with the hard times ahead. The dry period traditionally starts in May.

The Barbados Meteorological Services at the Grantley Adams International Airport recorded 736.5mm (58 per cent of average conditions) of rainfall, the lowest since 1942, and the CIMH at Husbands, St James, recorded 804.5mm (63 per cent of average conditions), the lowest since 1969.

Prior to 2019, the lowest record dry year was 1947.

CIMH’s chief of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Adrian Trotman, said last year’s “exceptionally dry” conditions followed on from a similar situation between 2014-2016, but worsened in 2019, especially in the last six months. (BA)

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