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TOPIC: Carisam Bulletin January

Carisam Bulletin January 2 years 8 months ago #31

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Weak La Niña conditions continued to exist into December 2016 and models have been suggesting that conditions would return to ENSO-neutral by February 2017. La Niña conditions usually increase the chance of rainfall activity across the region.
The month of December 2016 brought mixed conditions across the region with most being in a state of near normal to extremely wet. The exceptions to this were Dominica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba and portions of Jamaica, which were moderately to exceptionally dry in some cases. Just in case you are asking what we mean by moderately dry and exceptionally dry click here to read more.
In the context of cropping, a look at the recent three month period (October to December), conditions were mostly normal to exceptionally wet. However, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Belize experienced mixed conditions of moderately dry and moderately wet. To sum it up, this period was on average wetter than normal for most territories.

Forecast for January to June 2017
Rainfall amounts of normal to above normal across the Eastern Caribbean and the Guianas and normal to below normal across the north-western Caribbean (Cuba and the Bahamas) have been projected for the period January to March 2017. There is much uncertainty for the period April to June? 2017. With respect to night time temperatures, they are expected to be normal to above normal during January to June 2017. Day time temperatures for April to June 2017 show a smaller chance for above normal across the Eastern Caribbean (particularly the Leewards). However, not much can be said about the expected state of maximum temperatures for January to March 2017.

What does this forecast imply for agriculture?
Reduced possibility of flash flooding as we progress through the dry season with the possibility of low water availability for agriculture in the western Caribbean.
The Cayman Islands would likely continue to experience significant rainfed agricultural declines as they had experienced a record low rainfall year in 2016. The Drought outlook also suggests that by the end of May 2017 the country would still be experiencing drought conditions click here to read more.

Possibly a lower chance of heat stress in livestock, poultry and plants due to the decreased chance of above normal day time temperatures.
Reports are that January thus far, has been a relatively dry experience in much of the Caribbean, and there were already countries that ended 2016 with relatively dry conditions.

What should you do?
Continue to monitor water availability for your agricultural activities!
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Carisam Bulletin January 2 years 8 months ago #32

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Some countries in the Caribbean have been experiencing a relatively dry January. This may well be increasing the concerns for countries that were moderate to severely dry at the end of December 2016. In such countries irrigation (from surface) water supply may well be running lower than hoped for, and rainfed cropping will likely be showing signs of water stress in some places. Let us know what the conditions (rainfall and status of crops) are like in your country as we await an update of the seasonal forecast for the period February to April and May to July.
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