Sunrise at Mayaro Beach on March 20th, 2021. More sunny skies are forecast for T&T this week, (Shalana Karim)
Conditions across Trinidad and Tobago through this week are forecast to be quite typical for this time of year as we’re still in the Dry Season. Mostly hot, sunny, and breezy days will be interrupted by very brief showers with increasingly hazy skies. Saharan Dust levels will be at moderate to high concentrations from this evening through mid-week, with a secondary and more significant surge forecast from Friday.
This week’s weather conditions are forecast to be mainly influenced by a persistent and deep-layered high-pressure system anchored north of the region.
Rainfall will be brisk, associated with fast-moving low-level cloud patches (areas of convergence) moving within the trade-wind-flow of the high-pressure system. Gusty winds may accompany brisk, isolated, heavier showers.
There are no alerts, watches or warnings from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service for Trinidad and Tobago at this time.
Mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies, with increasingly hazy and breezy conditions are forecast for T&T. Conditions are forecast to be mostly settled overnight. However, low-level cloud patches may bring brisk isolated showers with cloudy periods. Gusty winds accompanying and ahead of the showery activity are possible, particularly with heavier showers.
Marine: Through the next 48 hours, seas are forecast to remain moderate with waves in open waters of Trinidad and Tobago between 2.0 to 2.5 meters. Along northern, eastern, and sheltered coastlines, waves up to 1.0 meter are likely and choppy at times due to windy conditions. Spring tides are also ongoing due to a new moon on Tuesday 11th May 2021.
Overview: Dominating the overall wind flow, a deep layered high-pressure system will remain in place into the week, with wind speeds elevated and fluctuating. In addition, a relatively dry and stable pattern is forecast over the region.
Embedded convergence and confluence will bring shallow (capped to low- to mid-levels of the atmosphere) showers to T&T, remaining fairly brisk.
Across both islands, overnight lows are forecast to be warm with daytime highs hot.
The minimum low for Trinidad is forecast to be near 23.0°C, and as low as 22.0°C in valleys and forested areas of Central and Southern Trinidad. In Tobago, a minimum low near 25.0°C is forecast.
The maximum high for Trinidad is forecast to be near 32.0°C, up to 36.0°C in urban and built-up areas, particularly between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. In Tobago, the maximum high is forecast to be near 31.0°C.
Temperatures in cities, such as Port of Spain, tend to be much higher than surrounding locations due to a phenomenon called the Urban Heat Island Effect. There are several causes, but the main instigator for this phenomenon tends to be increased dark surfaces such as roads and pavement in cities, which absorb solar radiation more than surrounding areas.
The Heat Index
The heat index will be between levels that require extreme caution to near dangerous levels through Wednesday across Trinidad and Tobago. The heat index and is a combination of air temperature and relative humidity, determining what the air feels like to a person, i.e., how hot it actually feels.
Across Trinidad, the maximum heat index is forecast to be between 35°C and 40°C and even higher in urbanized areas. In Tobago, the maximum heat index is forecast to be between 35°C and 38°C.
The heat index is important because of sweating. Your body sweats to cool the skin and maintain a constant, healthy body temperature. This cooling process means that the sweat has to evaporate off the skin to remove heat. However, if the sweat is unable to evaporate, the body isn’t able to regulate temperature.
Heat index is generally classified into four categories: caution, extreme caution, dangerous, and extremely dangerous.
The main hazard throughout the week would be high temperatures during the late morning through the afternoon, causing heat stress for heat-sensitive people, animals, and plants. Gusty winds are also possible in showery activity.
Sustained surface winds moderate to fresh (20-38 KM/H). In shower activity, gusts up to and in excess of 45 KM/H are possible.
With wind gusts in excess of 45 KM/H, whole trees are expected to be in motion, and there may be some inconvenience when walking against the wind gusts. Light outdoor objects may topple or become airborne such as garbage cans, potted plants, loose galvanize or construction material and other outdoor furniture. Tents may jump. Older/weaker trees may fall, bringing down utility poles and lines.
Across most areas of Trinidad and Tobago, between 0-5 millimeters of rainfall is anticipated daily through the week with maximum accumulation totals up to 5 millimeters favoring eastern areas.
Why I May Not/Will Not See Rainfall?
A frequent complaint is the forecast is wrong because I didn’t experience any rainfall. Scattered showers mean that you, individually, may experience some showers intermittently throughout the day and there is a higher chance for this activity than isolated activity. Widespread showers mean that nearly all persons and areas may experience rainfall.
Highly Isolated rainfall is forecast on Monday and through the week, remaining very brisk, lasting no longer than a few minutes at most.