The Dominica Meteorological Service is reporting that an impactful drought by end of the wet season could affect the agriculture sector and others.
The report comes after forecasts by the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum predicting a below normal rainfall outlook for the first three months of the 2015 hurricane season.
The Meteorological Service has already received reports of less than favourable conditions for the agriculture sector.
Vernie Marcellin-Honoré is a Meteorological Assistant at the Dominica Meteorological Service.
“Since last year, our forecast has been indicating below normal rainfall and for this season, June/July/August, we are seeing this trend continuing.
“Looking at previous conditions for the 2015 dry season and the 2014 wet season, we are concerned about the impact- what has occurred and what can occur this year in terms of agriculture and other resources,” she says. “An impactful drought is a possibility by the end of August and the end of November.”
The Meteorological Service has been working closely with the agriculture sector and says farmers should take heed.
“There are various definitions of drought; agriculture has a different definition. [It involves] below normal rainfall for three months.
“If we are looking at water resources, they may have drought concerns if there is below normal rainfall for 6-12 months.
“In terms of agriculture, we are looking at impactful drought conditions right now. At Canefield, for the past two months, we have had below normal rainfall so we are already looking at impactful dry conditions almost drought-like conditions for agriculture.”
She advised other sectors to educate the public with regards to measures which can be taken to conserve water.