Hydromet office warns of more flooding as Guyana transitions to secondary rainy season

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The Hydrometeorological office on Monday warned of more flooding, waterborne illnesses, landslides and possible loss of crops and livestock as the country enters into the secondary or short rainy season which typically lasts from mid-November to January.

The rainy season, which commenced on Sunday night, coupled with high tides has already caused flooding in some areas in Georgetown and on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) on Monday.

See full statement from the Hydromet office below:  

Guyana is now transitioning into the secondary or short rainy season which typically lasts from mid-November to January. Atmospheric conditions are favourable for the commencement of the rainy season and therefore, forecasters have high confidence that the transition to the rainy season has begun. This means that an increase in rainfall activity over the coming weeks and into the next three months is expected.

Seasonal climate models are indicating wetter than usual or above normal rainfall for this wet season. The rainy and or wet conditions usually experience this time of year will be coupled with a moderate to strong La Niña throughout the 2020/2021 rainy season. As a result, there will be an increase in rain days (days with more than 1 mm of rainfall) and high-intensity rainfall events during this season; these rainfall events are likely to be accompanied by high winds which may threaten the integrity of man-made structures. The increase in rain days and rainfall intensities is likely to result in an increase in flash flood potential as the season progresses. The normal rainfall amounts for the months of November, December and January (NDJ) are shown in the map below. These values are likely to be exceeded this season.

During this season night-time temperatures is expected to be cooler than usual in Region 8, but warmer than usual in the other Regions. Daytime temperatures (in the absence of rainfall) are expected to be warm as usual in Region 9 and Southern Region 6, but warmer than usual in other Regions (in the absence of rainfall).

Possible Impacts include:

  • Flooding in zones where drainage canals and other artificial waterways are clogged with debris.
  • Flooding and earth movement in the hilly, sand and clay region and mountainous locations
  • Likely reduction in water quality of surface water bodies
  • Increased flood risk in coastal regions when rainfall is coupled with normal and above normal high tides.
  • Loss of cash crops, poultry and livestock (left in lowlands).
  • Reservoirs, conservancies and inland water bodies are likely to be recharged to maximum capacity and therefore water release must be planned for and managed to avoid overtopping.
  • Likely increase in waterborne illnesses
  • High winds and possible damage to property
  • Slippery roadways and increase risks of road accidents
  • Thunderstorm activity and lightning strikes

The public may wish to note that the forecast is suggesting an increase in accumulated rainfall and not that there will be rainfall every day throughout the season. There will be periods with reduced or no rainfall as well as periods of excessive rainfall. The announcement of the start of the rainfall season is intended to trigger an increased level of alertness and preparedness on the part of all stakeholders to deal with the possible impacts of the season on lives, livelihoods and infrastructure.

The Hydrometeorological Service will provide updates to its seasonal forecast as new information becomes available. For short term forecasts and weather analyses throughout the season, stakeholders are advised to follow the Daily Weather Brief, Outlooks and Advisories produced by the National Weather Watch Centre or visit www.hydromet.gov.gy. The forecast desk can be reached at 261-2284/261-2216 on a twenty-four-hour basis.

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