Thermometer recording a chilly 16.5°C at Brasso Village, Central Trinidad early Monday 14th January 2019. Photo: Lyndell Ritesh Beepat
Trinidad experienced one of its chilliest nights since the 27th January 2010, the last time temperatures dipped at Piarco International Airport to 19.0°C according to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services.
Several areas across Trinidad, mainly central and southern Trinidad experienced temperatures near or below 17.0°C.
Temperatures across Tobago, albeit still cold, remained near 23°C.
Low temperatures during this time of year is normal, as the Northern Hemisphere experiences winter.
This cool temperature was a result of several factors occurring simultaneously overnight:
- Calm/near calm winds
- Almost no cloud coverage
- Winds originating from the North in the lower levels of the atmosphere (over Trinidad)
These factors enhance the outgoing longwave radiation from the Earth’s surface at night, which result in cooling.
These calm winds and no cloud coverage is due to a persistent sub-tropical high pressure system which has dominated the weather for much of January, causing dry air at mid and upper levels of the atmosphere, inhibiting cloud formation. This also leads to fairly warm days, where temperatures can reach 32°C.
Particularly during El Niño years, winter storms move further southward across the United States, increasing the likelihood of cold frontal systems moving across the Caribbean and further dipping temperatures.
For vulnerable persons, who might be especially susceptible to cooler temperatures, such as babies or people suffering from arthritis, it may be best to layer up as a way to keep warm at night.
According to data from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service, the coldest temperature ever recorded at Piarco International Airport was 16.1°C, recorded in January 1964.
Temperature Forecast For This Week
Model runs from the 12Z EMCWF and ICON models show temperatures reaching 20-22°C across much of Trinidad early Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Lower morning temperatures in the upper teens are likely across interior parts of Trinidad, including areas located in valleys and across mountainous topography.
By Thursday morning, through the remainder of the week, morning temperatures will still remain a cool 21-23°C across Trinidad, but fewer areas my dip into the upper teens compared to Monday and Tuesday morning. Some isolated showers, cloud cover and humid air may warm those temperatures slightly.
The same phenomenon that is causing lower than usual temperatures across Trinidad will cause daytime highs to get uncomfortably hot, with maximum highs throughout the week reaching a warm 32°C across Trinidad.
Tobago, throughout the remainder of the week, will have morning lows at a cool 22-23°C and highs between 29-30°C