Is the decrease in rainfall, and January hurricane Alex the effects of climate change? While Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Ms. Sharleen DaBreo did not state this directly in an announcement this week, she did ask residents to note the recent environmental changes.
“The statistics are showing changes in climate over time. Although not affecting the Caribbean region, we have seen the formation of Hurricane Alex over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on January 14. Alex has now been recorded as one of the earliest tropical systems to form in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin since records began in 1851.”
The DDM Director also said that rainfall data from the Department for the period January to December 2015 indicated that a total of 15.19 inches of rainfall was recorded at the Paraquita Bay weather station and 16.22 inches from The Valley, Virgin Gorda station.
These statistics represent a significant reduction in rainfall when compared to the same period in 2014 where 30.44 inches of rainfall were recorded at the Paraquita Bay station and 30.55 inches from the station in The Valley, Virgin Gorda.
The drought outlook for January to March 2016 and beyond indicates that the El Niño will continue to peak in strength which may result in the wet conditions currently being experienced to transition into periods of drought.