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Belize among regions forewarned of intensified heat stress in the upcoming three months

Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2023. 4:28 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: The Caribbean region is expected to face increased heat stress in the coming three months, warns the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF), as per the latest forecast announced on Friday.

The Barbados-based entity pointed out the unusual warmth in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, asserting that these are contributing to an increase in temperature, humidity, and heat wave frequency in the region. This situation is further expected to magnify heat stress across the Caribbean.

According to CariCOF’s forecast for the July-September period, the effects of these oceanic conditions will be somewhat dichotomous, as the opposing influences of the warm Atlantic and Pacific on rainfall and hurricane activity in the Caribbean. However, the Atlantic’s record warmth currently appears to hold sway, mitigating concerns about drought due to an anticipated increase in wet season rains.

While this could be a sigh of relief for the Caribbean islands, it’s a double-edged sword, as the amplified rains bring with them the potential for increased flooding, flash floods, and cascading hazards. The threat level for these weather events is projected to rise from moderate to high in August.

For the Guianas, July is expected to bring excessive wet conditions, followed by a shift to predominantly hotter and drier weather from mid-August onwards.

Looking at the rainfall patterns across the region, CariCOF anticipates regular or above-average totals for Aruba, Bonnaire and Curacao, The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, the eastern parts of the Guianas, and the Leeward Islands. However, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago are likely to see only the usual amount of rainfall.

Lastly, as of June, severe short-term droughts have been reported in southern Belize, eastern Dominican Republic, southeastern French Guiana, and St Vincent. Far southern Belize, the southeasternmost parts of Cuba, the western parts of Haiti, and St Vincent are dealing with long-term droughts.

As the region braces for these climatic challenges, the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum will continue monitoring and providing updated climate predictions to help nations prepare for the season ahead.


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