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…Hydromet chief says tropical waves approaching this week
By Lisa Hamilton
Chief Hydrometeorological Officer, Garvin Cummings said on Wednesday that Guyana should expect the current trend of excessive rainfall to continue up until July/August with upcoming tropical waves on June 17, 18 and 20.
Cummings provided this weather outlook along with the perspective of the past few months during a Civil Defence Commission (CDC) programme.
With the use of charts, he showed that there has been above average rainfall across Guyana from November 2020 to present, save for the month of February 2021. The data was gathered from weather stations throughout the country and compared the recent rainfall to the long-term rainfall average.
The Chief Hydrometeorological Officer said that Guyanese can expect such excessive rainfall to continue up until July/August. He therefore deemed the CDC’s operationalization of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) as appropriate.
“We are in fact living in unprecedented times,” Cummings said. “May 2021, for the last 40 years would have been the second wettest. The wettest May for the last 40 years was actually May 2004.”
Though the Hydromet Department is aware that Guyana should expect above normal rainfall during this period, Cummings said that it is nonetheless difficult to predict the weather.
Giving an example, he pointed out that Georgetown experienced approximately 90 minutes of rainfall between 11:30AM and 1PM on June 15 which resulted in over three inches of rainfall. However, rainfall between 4AM and 8AM on June 16 resulted in about 2 inches of rainfall in Georgetown.
“These are difficult times, forecasting weather is not easy,” Cummings said. He also reminded that on May 25, significant rainfall event led to serious electrical issues at the National Weather Watch Center which has since rendered the Doppler weather radar dysfunctional and it has remained dysfunctional since.
“It means that our now-casting capacity is severely restricted because we cannot observe the weather in near-real time. So, this is a humbug to the work of Hydromet really. Accompanying that event as well, we had power outages at the National Weather Watch Center, our telephone lines and internet also went down. Those were only restored on June 4,” he said.
Cummings therefore used the occasion to make a case for the relocation of the National Weather Watch Center because the facility is often compromised when there is severe weather.
For the next 4 to 5 days, Guyanese can expect Thursday, Friday and Sunday Guyana will be affected by tropical waves with rainfall between 2-4 inches and some areas experiencing more rainfall.