As of 8:00AM Thursday 11th April 2019, mostly sunny skies are occurring across the vast majority of Trinidad and Tobago. Very isolated showers, associated with low-level clouds moving in from the Atlantic, are occurring mainly east of Trinidad and Tobago.
Mostly sunny skies are forecast throughout today, across both islands. Low-level cloud patches are forecast to continue moving into the area, bringing some isolated showers, albeit brief, with associated cloudy periods. By midday, some isolated showers may occur across hilly areas and parts of Western Trinidad, generally remaining light to moderate and fairly brief.
Mostly settled conditions are forecast over the next 24 hours with a clear night ahead.
These conditions are to remain in place for the remainder of the weekend, as a surface to mid-level high pressure system remains dominant across the Eastern Caribbean. However, 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.
Upper level dynamics are not favorable to support 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.
Through the weekend, an increase 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.
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 3 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 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.
Maximum high temperatures across T&T today, Thursday, are forecast to be warm, near 33°C at Piarco, Trinidad and a heat index of 35-36°C . Across Tobago, maximum high temperatures are forecast to near 31°C with a heat index of 34°C. The heat index is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity, generating a “feel’s like” temperature.
Seas are forecast to remain 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 to southeast today 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 (if any) Concentrations of Saharan Dust To Move Across T&T, Beginning Sunday.
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. Air quality is forecast to remain at good to moderate levels for the next 4-5 days. Particularly, 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 to no 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 (8:30AM 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 Saturday night at the earliest, and Sunday night at the latest.
Conversely, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service has indicated that “moderate to thick concentrations of Saharan dust are expected to affect Trinidad and Tobago and the Lesser Antilles from late Friday (12th) into the weekend” in a post made on their social media platforms at 12:22PM Monday 8th April 2019.
Regardless, with dry conditions forecast for the majority of the week ahead, 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.