Cayman facing long-term drought

| 20/02/2017 | 37 Comments

(CNS): The Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CDPMN) has warned that the Cayman Islands and other western Caribbean countries are facing a worsening drought with several months of the dry season still to go. In a drought bulletin released Monday, the regional climate agency said that while the eastern Caribbean has seen lower than average rainfall in recent months, there is little chance of real drought in that area but there is “much greater concern” for the region’s west which is already suffering rain shortages after a very dry 2016.

“This is particularly so over the Cayman Islands and Cuba,” the climate network, which is part of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology, stated in the bulletin.

Last year Grand Cayman experienced its driest year on record, with just 50% of the average rain falling during the 2016 wet season. And while January 2017 was described as near normal, the average for January has also being very dry.  The CDPMN said this means Cayman is suffering both short- and long-term drought, a situation the weather forecasters said was expected to continue.

“Longer-term drought is likely to persist in Cayman,” the bulletin warned, adding that it’s going to get worse as the dry season continues.

In January, the local weather service revealed the statistics for last year. Local experts reported that the amount of rain measured at the station at Owen Roberts International Airport for all of 2016 was just 28 inches — less than 50% of the average annual rainfall.

According to the local forecast for this week, there could be some rain over the horizon. Local experts said that from Wednesday, when a cold front enters the Northwest Caribbean, there could be an increase in showers.

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Category: Local News, Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (37)

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  1. Kat says:

    Heavy rain fell yesterday georgetown up to newlands so doubt that the report is as accurate as they think smh

  2. just asking says:

    Some people that is making these stories up has something to gain by what they say they have not been here long enough or don’t have any commies to know that weather has patterns and not two years are the same there is the cycle. That’s for all that think they know all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh Wise one “just askin”, please enlighten us with thou divine wisdom about how this will all pan out. if you don’t know then, why would you make such a daft comment? Who gains out of a drought?

    • Anonymous says:

      that story was made up based on rainfall data that goes back to the 1950’s. before your time probably.

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound like Trump with his fake news!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    LOL, you folks don’t know what dry means. l lived in the Middle East where we had two or three wet days a year, humidity was very low and it would average 45C (110F) in Summer with peaks of 54C (130F) but we always had plenty of water.

    The main source of fresh water was desalination while the grass and gardens were kept fresh with part treated (you wouldn’t want to drink it but it didn’t smell and was safe) sewage. There’s always usable water out there, it’s just a case of identifying it and managing it.

    One of the problems in much of the Caribbean is that all the old considerations have gone out of the window. You no longer have to build rainwater catchment into buildings so the bulk of the rain just goes in run-off into the sea.

  4. Sharkey says:

    I know that before all the trees were cut down and the Islands were under developed , that we never had droughts and everything was green , but we didn’t have big enough cistern to store water , then we had to back water from our water well .

    Now that we have no trees and a water commission , we would always have drought.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You cannot take a rain samole collected at the Airport and average that for the islands.

    We who live in BT EE and NS see the rain clouds passing us each time, only to release in GT and WB.

    BT EE and NS -ers have been dealing with drought for decades!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, the Nat’l Weather Service is too cheap to set up or take over the Grand Cayman network of rain gauges the Water Authority used to manage. More than 12 years ago they stood idly by when the Caribbean Met Office in Barbados was granting a $50k offshore environmental & weather station to associate members of CPAC, Cayman included. All it would have taken was a letter from the respective portfolio Minister and possibly the Gov. facilitating this. Talk about ignorant and apathetic.

      • Anonymous says:

        national weather service itself is only 6 years old. the older history from which the service formed was an aviation weather service.

    • Anonymous says:

      do you mean that the rainfall totals over the eastern side of grand cayman is lower than in the west or there is a drought? there is a big difference. rainfall in the east is just about always low.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know the science, but hopefully this will balance the rising sea levels and we won’t all have to move to Arkansas.

  7. Deborah says:

    So sad! We will be there on 7 mile beach in May. Looking forward to some pretty flowers and plants.

    • Jotnar says:

      On Seven Mile Beach all the plants and flowers are landscaped gardens with irrigation. No conservation laws here stopping irrigation in a drought, so not sure you will notice the difference.

      • Poseidon says:

        And why would the Cayman Islands need water conservation laws? With rising oceans, we have all the water to continue to reverse into drinkable usage for humans, animals and yes, plants.

        There may be no rain falling, but neither is the sky in this scenario.

        • Jotnar says:

          Yeah, provided you want to keep paying astronomical water bills for it – right up to the point where the rising water tops the desalination plant of course.

          • Poseidon says:

            Don’t worry yourself, we’ll all be dead by then. Future generations will prevail/moved to higher ground and won’t care that the old one was here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    yep…. can’t wait for the ppm cig response on this……zzzzzzzzzzz
    just look at the dump if you want to know what caymanian politicians (over the last 30 years) think of the environment….

  9. Anonymous says:

    It rained this morning

  10. Nemo says:

    Isn’t this expected considering the amount of roads/development that is currently going on? Majority of the mangroves on the west bay corridor is all gone and the reefs are now a threat to the Cayman experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is too small a land mass to affect weather patterns. Without getting into too much detail, this has more to do with an increase in high pressure aloft coupled with an increased density of the Sahara Air Layer.

      • Cereal says:

        Wow, it seems like you’re pretty stupid. How is that working out for you 8:23?

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you start drinking 345’s at 5:39 am or are you still drinking 345’s from the night before? Crawl back under your canoe and go to sleep.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh dear Cereal…8.23 is actually pretty well informed whereas your comment contains no useful information or facts at all, including the insult. Presume that is your normal modus operandi and therefore pointless arguing, as you really cannot fix dumb.

      • Anonymous says:

        If a butterfly farts in East End it can affect weather patterns in George Town.

        • Anonymous says:

          Likewise when the LA is working, hot air and gas volumes noticeably increase in Georgetown. Gasmasks should be issued to all during election campaigns.

      • Anonymous says:

        There always used to be the Radisson cloud that formed at about 2pm every day, regular as clockwork. Low level clouds do form over Islands and dump rain, one of the reasons island vegetation is created. Not all weather is macro, some is micro, ask anyone at the Northwest point of the island, they have a micro climate that isn’t seen on the rest of the island. Your statement is correct, that Islands don’t create weather patterns, but you have missed what happens at a local level by a mile and that isn’t learned in a book or off the internet,.

        • Anonymous says:

          There is a rain shadow map on the internet. It shows what is obvious. There’s more than twice as much rain in the west. The clouds that start to pop up in the east don’t have time to produce rain until they have moved to the west. The east side is always going to be arid, just like every other island in the Caribbean.

    • Allar says:

      Get real how many mangroves Does Mobile Alabama have yet they get 67 inches per annum.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention all the mangrove wiped out by various developers on the West Bay corridor. Never see any replanting of indigenous flora going on, it’s always the pest infested ornamentals from overseas. Over the next ten years Cayman’s green space will more resemble “the island” at Camana Bay. Gone are the days of local flora dedicated nurseries for large developments. Our regulatory entities don’t seem to give a $hit. Soon the Conservation Board with have nothing to save but their a$$e$. Sad and pathetic.

    • Anonymous says:

      I suggest contacting the Cayman Islands National Weather Service before making such reckless comments……

      • Anonymous says:

        thanks for your support anon 9:17. The National Weather Service has been monitoring this and has released numerous articles on the very dry year we were having in 2016. This data was sent to the regional climate office in Barbados who released the drought warning.

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