May-June rains/high tides
Not Doomsday, but take precautions - Hydromet official

Kaieteur News
April 21, 2007

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Commendations are in order from officials of the Hydrometeorological Office for the authorities with respect to early recognition of the possibilities of a 40 per cent increase in rainfall during the May/June period.

One senior source expressed the belief that these assurances would stem the tide of a recurrence of floods gone by.

In the wake of the pronouncements about the May/June rainy season, residents in low-lying areas are fearful of the repeat of severe flooding. However, “it is not Doomsday” is the advice from a senior source at the Hydromet office.

The source said that coastland residents should prepare and take precautionary measures to prevent possible inundation. The advice also is that the hurricane season in the region would mean that there would be swelling of the seas, and as such, low lying coastland areas would experience some flooding.

His advice, therefore, is that residents in low-lying areas should “put systems in place to accommodate increased rainfall.”

He admonished that “those people in low lying areas must ensure that your surrounding drains are cleared and clean, and be alert and watch out for the sluice operator and ensure that he opens and closes the doors at the right time when the tides are coming in…The more precautions you take the better for you.”

The rainfall projections for May/June are 40 percent above normal, according to the global projections, “but this could very well be a bit higher or lower.” Rainfall projections for May are 285.5 millimetres; in June, 327.9 millimetres; and in July 201 millimetres.

The source noted that any possible flooding would be as a result of the combination of the rains and the regional weather pattern (hurricane season), that would result in swelling of the seas.

This hurricane season could affect the shoreline and weaken the sea defence in some areas. The indication is that there is a La Nina “wetter than normal” weather pattern, but it is moderate.

The last flooding was caused by 40 times the amount of the normal rains, but this prediction is 40 percent above normal, or less than half of the amount of the last time. But this is just a prediction based on the models.