The Meteorological Service (Met Service) has listed Kingston and St. Andrew among the parishes worst affected by severe drought conditions affecting the island.
Acting Director of the Met Service, Evon Thompson, says data collected at the end of February showed that with the exception of St. Ann and St. James, all other parishes were experiencing below normal rainfall levels, or what is categorized as normal drought conditions.
Mr. Thompson was addressing the Heads of Agency Meeting on March 27 at the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.
Mr. Thompson painted a picture of worsening drought conditions in St. Thomas and Kingston and St. Andrew, with the parishes experiencing below 40 per cent of normal rainfall. He noted that the amount of rainfall experienced over an eight-week period in Kingston and St. Andrew, for example, is 30 percent of what is considered normal rainfall, measured over a 30-year benchmark period.
He noted that this trend is not expected to change before the end of April into May.
“Because it is the secondary rainy season. Traditionally, we are expecting to get sufficient rainfall to start pulling us out of the drought situation. The precipitation outlook for the next few months is that we should be moving to normal and slightly above normal rainfall activity as we move through the month of May,” he told JIS News.
Jamaicans are being urged to conserve water, in light of the drought conditions currently being experienced throughout the island.
By O. Rodger Hutchinson, JIS Reporter