By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
FORECASTERS in the capital have urged residents throughout the country not to be misguided by the low levels of rainfall over the last six weeks, warning of a return to “normal levels” over the course of the “wet” months.
Local climatologist Arnold King suggested that the presence of the latest ‘La Nina’ system in the Pacific Ocean extended winter temperatures and conditions throughout North America and the Caribbean. La Nina, the winter counterpart of El Nino systems, has far reaching impacts extending beyond the Pacific Ocean.
Global forecasters have indicated that the prescience of La Nina will mean drier and warmer weather for the southern portion of North and Central America, while offering extended cold temperatures for northern portions of the continent.
According to Mr King, that extended winter weather “slightly impacted” rainfall throughout April and early May in the Bahamas. Historic rainfall averages for April usually come in at around 2.46 inches. However, this year, forecasters have recorded just over an inch of rainfall for the month.
Mr King told The Tribune yesterday: “We usually see La Nina in the Pacific affect weather conditions throughout our region over the course of the dry months and how we transition to the wet months. We expected less rainfall during the dry months specifically due to this occurrence. However, as we transition to the wet months, we expect things to return to normal.”
When asked to further clarify those “normal” projections, Mr King predicted 4.5 inches of rainfall throughout May and an increase to the 8.7 inches average for June.
“La Nina was weak, but no matter the strength, it has an impact on what happens with our patterns an temperatures. The wet season starts in May and April often acts as a period of transition. Now we are back to our normal weather patterns,” he said.
He was speaking as the capital was drenched with torrential rainfall yesterday, with segments of New Providence under a thunderstorm warning for up to five hours. At 11am, Accuweather issued a warning for severe thunderstorm conditions within 25 miles moving east at 20mph.
Similar weather conditions are expected to continue throughout the week.