The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) says chances of drought and recurrent dry spells during the peak of the dry season have increased as the weak El Niño conditions are forecast to persist until the end of April.
El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction, linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.
Typical El Niño effects are likely to develop over North America during the winter season.
In its latest Caribbean Climate Outlook bulletin, the CIMH said that regionwide, extreme drought is unlikely.
The CIMH said that shorter drought term situations by the end of April is evolving for the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao – as well as Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and that shorter-term drought might possibly develop in Antigua, southern and central Belize, Cayman Islands, Guyana, St Kitts-Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.