While Barbados was under a flood warning on Tuesday, April 26, due to heavy showers, meteorologists in Antigua and Barbuda say that some rainfall is expected here within days.
Barbados is being impacted by a trough system, causing between two and five inches of rainfall there. Those weather conditions are expected to persist over the next few days, causing even more rain to fall.
Dale Destin, the Acting Director of the Meteorological Service, confirms that some of this rainfall is expected to reach us over the weekend. He says there is the “potential or 10 percent chance” of rainfall exceeding an inch.
This, however, will not be enough to fill the various water catchments which, at this time, are bone dry, with some – including the Potworks Dam – overrun by shrubbery.
A trough system is poised to cause wet weather across the northeast Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda. Several of the more reliable weather models are forecasting the potential (10 percent chance) for rainfall totals exceeding 25 mm (over 1 in) to fall over the period Friday to Sunday of this weekend.
The potential total for over 25 mm in 72 hours is not in and of itself a high figure. However, relative to April and the fact that we are in a severe drought makes this worth “writing home about”.
Whereas all models consulted are forecasting rainfall for the weekend, the forecast totals differ, as can be expected. At the lower end of the potential rainfall scale some are projecting a 10 percent chance of over 25 mm (over an inch), while others are suggesting potentially higher totals, a 10 percent chance of over 75 mm (3 in) for the weekend.
GFS 24hr precipitation total exceedance forecast probabilities showing all areas with at least a 10 percent chance of getting over 50 mm (2 in) of rainfall from 2 am Saturday, 30 April to 2 am Sunday, 1 May 2022
The wet weather is expected from Dominica to Hispaniola. The highest totals are likely across Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Saturday/Sunday. Most of the rainfall for Antigua and the rest of the Leeward Islands is likely Friday/Saturday and for Hispaniola Sunday/Monday.
If the models prove right, and the upper end of the rainfall potential materialises, some places across the northeast Caribbean could see the average total for April falling in one weekend, if not one day. The possible rainfall total for the area is 25 to 100 mm (1 to 4 in). With this kind of rainfall possible, depending on the intensity and duration, flash flooding and associated impacts are of concern.
Deterministic rainfall accumulation forecast by the GFS model from Thursday, 28 April to Sunday, 1 May 2022
The rainfall of this weekend could, at least, put a dent or further dent in the droughts across the area, particularly the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It will certainly have a big impact on domestic catchments, temporarily easing the stress and demand on water resources authorities.
There is no doubt that these showers will be welcome by all; however, they could prove disruptive to weekend plans leading up to Labour Day Monday celebrations. Good news though: The weather should just about be back to normal by Monday.
The system has already caused wet weather across the southern Caribbean with some areas receiving over 75 mm (3 in). The trough also prompted flash flood warnings for some islands.
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