Forecast: Hot, Hazy Day As Saharan Dust Returns

Weather Forecast

As of 1:45PM Sunday 14th April 2019, mostly sunny and hazy skies are occurring across the vast majority of Trinidad and Tobago, with partly cloudy skies occurring across South Trinidad and Tobago. Very isolated showers, associated with an increase in low-level moisture are moving in from the Atlantic, are occurring mainly across coastal waters of Trinidad and Tobago.

For the evening and tonight, mostly settled conditions are forecast across much of Trinidad and Tobago. A few isolated showers are possible across Eastern Trinidad and Tobago.

On Monday, mostly hot and sunny conditions are to continue across both islands, with isolated showers possible after midday. These showers are to favor Eastern areas of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Southwestern coastal areas of Trinidad.

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Upper level dynamics are not favorable to support heavy shower development, moisture is lacking and remains capped to low-levels of the atmosphere. Hence, any shower development will be shallow and brief, generally remaining light to moderate.

Looking to the larger picture, a surface to mid-level high pressure system remains dominant across the Eastern Caribbean. Weak surface to low level perturbations originating from confluence along the southern and south-western periphery of the Atlantic high pressure, will continue to traverse the region triggering occasional cloudiness with brief showers.

Due to a tightened pressure gradient and a developing surface to low-level high pressure system in the Central Atlantic, breezy conditions are to persist across the region. Across Trinidad and Tobago, winds are forecast to be up to 50 KM/H through early next week.

On Tuesday, partly cloudy to cloudy skies, as well as isolated to scattered showers are to return to Trinidad and Tobago, bringing some much needed rainfall, though not drought busting

Temperatures

Minimum low temperatures across Trinidad and Tobago over the next 2 days are forecast to range between 24°C-26°C, with temperatures at the upper end of the minimum low temperature range favoring Tobago. Low temperatures are likely to be lower across inland and mountainous areas. Last nights’ minimum temperatures were 24°C at Piarco, Trinidad and 26°C at Crown Point, Tobago. These higher than forecast low temperatures are due to overnight showers, keeping temperatures up.

Today, maximum high temperatures across T&T were hot at 33°C at Piarco, Trinidad and a heat index of 36°C . Across Tobago, maximum high temperatures were 30°C with a heat index of 33°C. The heat index is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity, generating a “feel’s like” temperature.

Similar maximum high temperatures are forecast tomorrow, with a hot 33°C at Piarco, Trinidad and a heat index of 36°C. Across Tobago, maximum high temperatures are forecast to be near 30°C with a heat index of 33°C.

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Seas

Seas are forecast to remain slight to moderate in open waters through the week. Waves in open waters are forecast to remain up to 2.0 meters particularly East of Trinidad and Tobago. In sheltered areas, seas are forecast to remain smooth, below 1.0 meters. Winds are forecast to be from the east through the next 3 days at 15-20 knots.

Mild Concentrations of Saharan Dust Present Across T&T, Peak Concentrations Occurring.

Air Quality Index Forecast for the next 5 days. Mild increases of Saharan Dust concentrations continuing through Tuesday may reduce air quality levels to moderate. This is not forecast to be a long-lasting nor severe Saharan Dust event.

Presently, dust concentrations remain at low levels across the Southern Caribbean. Across Trinidad and Tobago, air quality is at moderate levels. Most places across the Eastern Caribbean are presently experiencing good air quality. Areas in the immediate vicinity of bushfires may experience moderate air quality.

At moderate air quality levels, unusually sensitive groups should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

The NASA-GEOS-5 & CAMS Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Tropical Atlantic Dust models continue to show very little dust associated with this plume arriving over parts of the Southern Windwards. The University of Athens SKIRON Dust model also shows low Saharan dust concentrations moving over the region.

Based on current information (2:00PM Sunday 14th April 2019), much of the dust is forecast to be deposited across the Atlantic Ocean, with mild concentrations moving across the Southern Windwards, including Trinidad and Tobago. This is not forecast to be as severe as the dust event during mid-March 2019. In addition, based on latest information, this mild concentration of dust is forecast to peak concentrations on Sunday 14th April 2019 and diminishing by Tuesday 16th April 2019.

00Z April 14th 2019 NASA GEOS-5 Dust Model, minimal Saharan dust concentrations are to continue across the Southeastern Caribbean over the next 3 days. Credit: Weatherbell

With dry conditions persisting, bush fires will be on the rise. In the presence of even mild Saharan Dust, air quality can quickly degrade to moderate and even unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups such as persons with respiratory ailments, children, the elderly and cardiopulmonary disease should take the necessary precautions.

Saharan Dust Precautions
Saharan Dust Precautions
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