Seasonal Outlook - February - April 2017

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

Recent Observations

In recent months, sea-surface temperature anomaly (SSTs) in the Equatorial Eastern Pacific (NINO3.4), increased slightly from -0.5oC or borderline La Nina conditions, to near average or ENSO neutral.

Model Forecast and Guidance

Most models suggest ENSO neutral conditions by February 2017 (with 75% - 90% confidence) and continuing through the first half of 2017. Models also forecast the return of El Nino by the end of 2017.

Expected Impacts on Rainfall and Temperatures

ENSO neutral phase usually have little effect on rainfall and temperature in February-March-April.

Mid Jan. 2017 Plume of Model ENSO Predications
Mid Jan. 2017 Plume of Model ENSO Predications
Mid Jan. IRI/CPC Model-Based Probabilistic ENSO Forecast
Mid Jan. IRI/CPC Model-Based Probabilistic ENSO Forecast

Climate conditions in the Tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean

Recent observations showed SSTs up to 0.5oC above-average within the Caribbean and the Tropical North Atlantic east of the islands. SSTs north of the Greater Antilles are now near-average due to usual trade wind activity in the region.

Expected Conditions Near normal SSTs are expected to return to the Caribbean Sea and further east by May-June-July 2017. Trade wind strengths are hardly predictable at seasonal time scales. Strength of trade winds is hardly predictable at seasonal time scales.

Expected impacts: A slight probability shift towards above- to normal rainfall is expected for February-March-April 2017 as positive SST anomalies in the Caribbean Sea and Tropical North Atlantic tend to increase humidity in the region, which in turn can lead to increased rainfall. This influence will tend to subside by May-June-July 2017.

Regional Overview on Seasonal Forecasts for February to April 2017

Rainfall Outlook

February - April 2017 Rainfall Outlook
February - April 2017 Rainfall Outlook

Forecast: Slightly above to normal rainfall totals can be expected for the season February-March-April 2017. (Normal range- approximately 139 - 403mm).

Probability:

  • 40% chance of above normal
  • 35% chance normal
  • 25% chance of below normal

Wet Days and Wet Spells Outlook


Wet Days

Table 1: February - April 2017 Wet Days(>1.0mm) Frequency Shift
Station Climatology (Wet days) Forecast (Wet days)
Canefield Airport 23 to 35 20 to 44
Douglas-Charles 37 to 56 36 to 59

Forecast: There is little indication in the forecast of wet days.


7-Day Wet Spells

Table 2: February - April 2017, 7 Day Wet Spells Frequency Shift
Station Climatology (7 day wet spell) Forecast (7 day wet spell)
Canefield Airport 0 to 2.1 0.1 to 2.1
Douglas-Charles 0.4 to 2.6 0.7 to 2.9

Forecast: Small increase to the usual amount of 7-day wet spells.

Implication: Depletion of large reservoirs during the dry season would likely be slower than usual.


3-Day Wet Spells

Table 3: February - April 2017, 3 Day Extreme Wet Spells Frequency Shift
Station Climatology (3 day extreme wet spell) Forecast (3 day extreme wet spell)
Canefield Airport 0 to 0 0 to 0
Douglas-Charles 0 to 0.1 0 to 0.1

Forecast: Low chances for 3-day extreme wet spells (high confidence).

Implication: Flash flood potential is not a major concern until the end of April.


Drought Outlook

Drought Outlook
Drought Outlook

There are no drought concerns for Dominica both at the short term (November 2016- April 2017) and long term (June 2016 –May 2017).


Temperature Outlook

Temperature Outlook
Temperature Outlook

Forecast: Temperatures across the Caribbean are forecast to rise but gradually become uncomfortable beyond April, with the chance of heat waves appearing in May and June for many. (Maximum temperature normal range: 28-30oC) (Mean temperature normal range: 25-27oC) (Minimum temperature normal range: 22-23oC).


Probability

Maximum/day-time temperature Probability

  • 40% chance of above normal
  • 35% chance normal
  • 25% chance of below normal

Minimum/night-time temperature Probability

  • 45% chance of above normal
  • 35% chance normal
  • 20% chance of below normal