The Hydrometeorological Service, Ministry of Agriculture in its most recent forecast dated November 2, 2023 has predicted below normal rainfall and above normal average temperature across Guyana from November, 2023 to January, 2024.
The December to January rainy season usually brings wet conditions in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 and northern 6. This period is also considered as the short-wet season with the transition starting from mid to late November. Additionally, the highest occurrence of short duration high intensity rainfall is observed during this period which often leads to flash floods. The ongoing El Niño phase is expected to continue throughout and beyond the November 2023 to January 2024 period. As a consequence, rainfall amounts are expected to be less than the historical average. Further, southern sections of Regions 8 and 6 and all of Region 9 will continue to experience dry conditions.
As a result of the projected drier than usual conditions, water supply in conservancies, reservoirs and inland rivers across Regions 9, 8 and southern 6 can be expected to remain low, while supply levels in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 and northern 6 will increase, but slower than usual. Though higher than usual dry days and spells can be expected, the potential for flash floods due to heavy rainfall events remains high during December and January.
When compared to recent months, a general cooling of temperatures is expected. In spite of the temperature reduction, both day and night-time temperatures are expected to be warmer than usual (above-normal) for this time of year. Additionally, the forecast indicates that dry days will be significantly warmer than wet days.
The Hydrometeorological Service recommends that opportunities for rainwater harvesting be maximized across the country. Heat will continue to be of concern during dry days and therefore, it is recommended that citizens take steps to maintain their health and farmers should provide shelters for animals. Notwithstanding, outdoor activities may be interrupted by high intensity short duration rainfall events that are likely to cause localized flash flooding. While along the coast cooling temperatures and increasing rainfall activity will reduce the risk of bush/forest fires, the risk remains high for southern Guyana, including Region 9 and parts of Regions 6 and 8.
The Hydrometeorological Service will provide updates to its seasonal outlook as new information becomes available and recommends that special attention be paid to daily short-range forecasts emanating from the National Weather Watch Center including the daily weather briefs, outlooks and advisories. Further information can be accessed via our website www.hydromet.gov.gy or by calling the forecast desk at 261-2284 or 261-2216.