ODPEM Government of Jamaica
Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
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Disasters Do Happen
 
Drought

Drought can be defined as a moisture deficiency that has serious adverse effects on a community usually by reducing food production or surface water supplies.

 

Drought can be highly destructive and it is now thought that climate change is fuelling a rise in the intensity and frequency of drought around the world. Drought is sometimes called a “creeping phenomenon” because it moves slowly but steadily into an entire region and lingering for long periods of time. To deal with drought effectively, it is crucial to determine when it started, how severe it is and when it is likely to end.

 

The long-term mean annual rainfall of Jamaica shows a pattern of two distinct wet months, October and May. The drier months are January, February, March and July. Of notably significance is that this pattern can vary annually. It is recognized that human activity could influence the global climate system through global warming and this could alter the rainfall patterns of tropical countries like Jamaica.   

 

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