SPI Monitor January 2010


The information contained herein is provided with the understanding that The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the Outlook. The information may be used freely by the public with appropriate acknowledgement of its source, but shall not be modified in content and then presented as original material.


January 2010

In January 2010 most of the eastern Caribbean was normal to moderately dry. The western portion of Trinidad, Grenada, the southern Grenadine islands and Anguilla experienced severely dry conditions. Moving southward from the northern tip of Guyana conditions experienced ranged from normal to extremely dry. To the west, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Belize were generally near normal. Haiti experienced normal to wet conditions during the month.

November 2009 to January 2010

During this three month period the southern islands of the eastern Caribbean experienced severely to extremely dry conditions. In Guyana, similar to the pattern of January, moving southward from the northern portion of the country the experience was normal to extremely dry conditions. Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Belize generally experienced near normal conditions.

August 2009 to January 2010

St. Lucia to Grenada in the eastern Caribbean (including Barbados) experienced severely to extremely dry conditions during this six month period. Antigua experienced moderately dry conditions. As over the preceding two time intervals, experiences southward from the northern tip of Guyana were from near normal to extremely dry. Apart from Belize where experiences ranged from moderately dry in the western portions to extremely wet in the north, the western Caribbean was generally near normal.

February 2009 to January 2009

For the twelve month period, Grenada was extremely dry and the western portion of Trinidad moderately dry. Barbados was also moderately dry and Guyana’s experiences range from normal at the northern tip to severely dry southward. The remainder of the Caribbean was generally near normal.

The maps produced used SPI values calculated from monthly rainfall totals from land stations and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data. Only land station data is used for the eastern Caribbean , described here as from Georgetown Guyana in the south to Anguilla in the north. The Greater (and Western) Antilles is less represented by land stations. However efforts are being made to include more land stations from that part of the region. Note that the severity implied by the index is relative to what is normal for that period of consideration. Normal in the drier season reflects less rainfall than in the wetter season.