‘Unusually high’ amounts of rain expected this season


Unusually high amounts of rainfall are expected this rainy season as Guyana is expected to experience wetter-than-usual conditions until February 2022.

This is according to information provided by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Hydrometeorological Office of Guyana.

A press release from the CDC related that a number of stakeholders participated in a virtual flood preparedness session on Wednesday. And, it was during that session that the Chief Hydrometeorological Officer Dr. Garvin Cummings stated that Guyana is preparing for another rainy season which promises unusually high amounts of rain.

According to the seasonal climate outlook released by the Hydrometeorological Office on October 28, there is a high chance for wetter than usual (above-normal) conditions across all regions.

“Rainfall amounts and frequency are expected to increase as the season progresses,” the published outlook stated.

A screenshot of the virtual forum held on Wednesday (Photo: Civil Defense Commission/ November 17, 2021)

Moreover, it was stated that flooding in all regions except Region Nine is a “developing concern”. As such, drainage interventions where and when possible were recommended.

Region Nine and the southern areas of Regions Six and Eight are, however, likely to experience the least amount of rainfall during this period.

An updated outlook, for December 2021 to February 2022, provided at the virtual forum indicated that these conditions are expected to persist.

The CDC’s press release noted that Dr. Cummings told the forum that the Hydrometeorological Office is working to ensure that weather predictions are as accurate as possible and that information is disseminated in a timely manner.

Meanwhile, specialist meteorologist Komalchand Dhiram also reportedly presented on the climate outlook presentations for Guyana. That presentation also highlighted the probability of above-normal rainfall for December 2021 to February 2022, signalling that Guyana is expected to be much wetter during that period.

The CDC’s Director General Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, at the forum, reportedly emphasised that planning for the immediate and distant future of disaster risk management in Guyana is of paramount importance.

“We must adopt a proactive approach both from the Hydromet perspective and from the Disaster Response and Preparedness perspective,” the Director-General stated.

It was only a few months ago, during another rainy season, that Guyana experienced unprecedented nationwide flooding. And cognisant of this, the Director-General reportedly pleaded with other relevant agencies to utilise the information formulated in the session to better inform their stakeholders of the climate expectations.

The stakeholders discussed how support can be provided to local communities as the worsening rainfall is expected. Already, however, parts of Georgetown were flooded on Wednesday, after a few hours of heavy rainfall.

Subsequent meetings are expected as the agencies strive to prepare for the impact of the heavy rainfall and potential flooding.

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