The wet season will be drier than normal too: Drought continued in July and August

POSTED: 09/18/15 12:11 PM


Great Salt PondWater levels in the Great Salt Pond are extremely low due to the drought. Photo Today / Hilbert Haar

St. Maarten – The drought that has tested nature to the limit this year, continued in the months of July and August, data published by the Meteorological Department show. Cumulative rainfall up to August was 56 percent less than a year ago and the next three months are not looking much better in the sense that the Meteorological Department expects that rainfall up to November will also most likely be below normal.

In July rainfall for the whole month was just 8.4 millimeter, compared to 46.4 millimeter a year ago. In 2013, July brought even more rain: 101.2 millimeter. The sharp decline between 2013 and 2015 is a stunning 91.7 percent. This year, there were just four days that brought a little rain to the island, compared to ten days in 2014 and 17 days in 2013.

The cumulative rainfall for the year stood at the end of July at 165.5 millimeter, compared to 437.9 millimeter in July 2014.

August was less dry than July, with 61.4 millimeter of rain. Though the number of rainy days was on a par with 2014 (15) and two days above August 2013, the month was still drier. In 2014, August brought 77.6 millimeter of rain and in 2013 it was 80.2 millimeter.

Cumulative rainfall at the end of August was 226.9 millimeter, compared to 515.5 millimeter in 2014: a decline of 56 percent.

Other data show that in July 213.9 millimeter evaporated; in August evaporation levels stood at 179.8 millimeter.

The Meteorological Department expects that the months September to November have a 50 percent chance of bringing below normal rainfall – that is, less than 355.4 millimeters. Chances that rainfall will be near normal (between 355.4 and 498.2 millimeter) are estimated at 30 percent and chances that it will be above normal (more than 498.2 millimeter) are 20 percent.

The department bases its projection on global models, historical data and subjective input.


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