El Niño gained’t shield the Caribbean from storms

El Niño won’t protect the Caribbean from storms

Grand Cayman after Tropical Storm Grace

(CNS): Regional climate specialists are warning that the likely development of El Niño conditions this summer will not protect the Caribbean from severe storms and hurricanes. While the phenomenon is associated with drought, the Caribbean Sea is unusually warm, providing the opportunity for strong hurricanes to develop even if conditions are, as anticipated, very dry this summer.

While the leading storm forecasters at Colorado State University are calling for a slightly quieter-than-average hurricane season, they were keen to stress that their early predictions came with a high degree of uncertainty. And even if the impact of an El Nino reduces the number of storms in the Atlantic, the warm water will help intensify those that do emerge.

The conflict in weather patterns has experts at the UWI Global Institute for Climate Smart and Resilient Development and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) worried, as…