As of 4:00PM Thursday 11th April 2019, mostly sunny 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 east of Trinidad and Tobago.
For the evening and tonight, mostly settled conditions are forecast across much of Trinidad and Tobago. However, a surge in low-level moisture is forecast. This is forecast to bring increased isolated showers overnight and through tomorrow, with brief cloudy periods mainly across Northern Trinidad and Tobago.
Through the weekend, an elevated level of low-level moisture is forecast. This may fuel increased isolated showers across Trinidad and Tobago, interrupting mostly sunny skies. A weak surface to low-level shearline is forecast to affect the Southern and Central Windwards, including Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday. This may bring the occasional cloudiness and shower activity.
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, mainly north of Trinidad and Tobago, 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.
Minimum low temperatures across Trinidad and Tobago over the next 2 days are forecast to range between 23°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 25°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 warm 32°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. Increasing coverage of showers, particularly during 12PM-2PM tomorrow, may result in lower maximum high temperatures.
Seas are forecast to remain slight to moderate in open waters through the week. Waves in open waters are forecast to remain between 1.0 meter to 1.5 meters and 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 to southeast through tonight at 15-20 knots.
On Friday, these winds are to maintain at 15-20 knots but becoming mostly east (to northeast at times). Long period swells are forecast over the next several days but seas will continue to be in a moderate state.
Very Mild Concentrations of Saharan Dust To Move Across T&T, Beginning Friday Night Into Saturday.
Presently, dust concentrations remain at negligible levels across the Southern and Eastern Caribbean. 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.
After 3 days of indicating an increase of dust across the region, dust models have mostly backed off on both the coverage and concentration of dust that was previously forecast.
The NASA-GEOS-5 & CAMS Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Tropical Atlantic Dust models now show very little dust associated with this plume arriving over parts of the Southern Windwards. The University of Athens SKIRON Dust model also shows minimal Saharan dust concentrations moving over the region.
Based on current information (4:00PM Thursday 11th April 2019), much of the dust is forecast to be deposited across the Atlantic Ocean, with little to 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 begin affecting T&T by Friday night at the earliest, with peak concentrations on Sunday 14th April 2019.
At the end of the above model loop, a denser plume of dust may move across Trinidad and Tobago, as well as much of the Lesser Antilles on April 22-24th 2019. This is more than 10 days away, so we’ll be monitoring accordingly.
An updated outlook was posted by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service on Thursday afternoon, has indicated that “the presence of Saharan Dust is expected in our area tomorrow night (peak expected on Sunday 14th).”
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.