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THE UPCOMING 2013 DRY SEASON
THE 2012 HURRICANE SEASON: THE UPCOMING 2013 DRY SEASON
The 2012 Hurricane Season has ended. Although, Trinidad and Tobago has been once again spared any direct impacts of the Tropical Cyclone systems which formed and traversed the Atlantic Ocean, it has nevertheless felt indirect impacts both in terms of rainfall received and those suppressed. By any standards, the 2012 Hurricane Season has been very active producing 19 named Storms, 10 Hurricanes and 1 major Hurricane. Viewed against the recorded history of Tropical Cyclones, 2012 is the third most active year along with 1987, 1995, 2010 and 2011.
There are two (2) unforgettable rainfall events during the active part of the Hurricane Season which comes to mind for Trinidad and Tobago. The first is the devastating events on 11 August, 2012 during which there were unfortunate loss of lives and very telling impacts in Northwestern regions of Trinidad. The second is feeder band activity associated with Tropical Storm Rafael which affected Trinidad from 10 - 13 October, 2012. Significant rainfalls were received in the Southern and Central parts of Trinidad. These apart, Trinidad and Tobago were mostly characterized by hot, dry and sometimes humid days during the 2012 Hurricane Season as a result of Tropical Cyclones drawing moisture to themselves and away from our islands while it skirted the Eastern Caribbean. This culminated in rainfall deficits particularly in the month of November when typically Trinidad and Tobago receive a secondary peak in rainfall before the onset of the dry season.
The month of December 2012 began with a much needed rainfall event courtesy the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. This rainy season feature is anticipated to intervene in weather conditions for at least the first two to three weeks in this month before the transition from the wet to the dry season ultimately yields to the latter. As this development is taking place, an El Nino event in the Tropical Pacific Ocean is threatening to assert itself with little progress. The presence of the El Nino is critical to rainfall production and therefore the outlook for the 2013 Dry Season in Trinidad and Tobago. Given that it is highly unlikely that it may be able to establish itself even into the first quarter of 2013 as per forecasts, it suggests that our country could be in for near normal conditions for the dry season.
As in any season, particularly in the dry season, we urge water conservation as well as vigilance and protection against rampant and widespread bush fires. Citizens are further advised to be more responsible to the environment during this time in order for the maintenance of a more responsive and resilient surroundings for the next hurricane and wet season.