June 14, 2021

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79% of Puerto Rico is under drought patterns despite recent rains

Despite the recent rains registered -mainly- in the Luquillo mountains and the western zone, 79% of Puerto Rico is under patterns of drought, and long-term forecasts indicate that precipitation will remain near or below normal until at least July.

This is clear from the most recent update of drought conditions for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, released today, Friday, by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and its collaborators. The report includes, among others, data from the latest report from the United States Drought Monitor, published yesterday, Thursday.

According to said report, 63.87% of Puerto Rico is under abnormally or atypically dry conditions, while 15.22% faces moderate drought, for 79.09% of the territory affected by the lack of rain. The population in the areas affected by the drought patterns amounts to 464,366 people.

Last week, 76.97% of the island was under atypically dry conditions and moderate drought, so now there was an increase of 2.12%.

Latest report from the United States Drought Monitor, published yesterday, Thursday.

In the NIDIS update, to which The new day had access, it also indicates that, to date, Puerto Rico has generalized rainfall deficits of between 4 and 7 inches.

For example, as of May 3, 9.61 inches of rain had fallen in San Juan, representing a reduction of 4.5 inches compared to normal or expected for the date (14.15 inches).

“This is the 24th driest year to date in 122 years of data. Basically a dryness of 1 in 5 years ”, is highlighted in the update report.

Likewise, it is specified that, in the Ensenada station, only 3.83 inches of rain have fallen this year, which represents about 55% of normal and the driest period since 2001.

According to NIDIS, Rain deficits during the last three months vary between 2 and 4 inches through the north-central and the interior-east of Puerto Rico.

“Based on the extended three-month forecast from the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF), as well as the National MultiModel Ensemble (NMME) of the National Weather Service In the United States, there is a greater chance of seeing below normal rainfall in the region through June or July 2021. However, there is a higher chance of seeing near normal rainfall during the fall of 2021. Unfortunately, the impacts of the drought should continue to worsen until mid-summer ”, the report warns.

NIDIS collaborators are the National Meteorological Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, in English), the Department of Agriculture of the United States (USDA, in English) and the University of the Virgin Islands.

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