Assistant director of the Meteorological Office Saide Shakeer has said the noticeably cold nights and early mornings Trinidad and Tobago has been experiencing in the past few days are normal for this time of year and not a cold front, as some people have assumed.
In a statement to Newsday on Thursday, she said, “The cool temperatures we are experiencing in the morning are not unusual for this time of the year."
Piarco, she said, had recorded "a minimum temperature of 19C yesterday and 20.2C this morning, while Crown Point recorded a minimum temperature of 21.6C both yesterday and this morning.
“Other areas, such as Penal, recorded temperatures as low as 17.2 and 20C yesterday and this morning respectively.”
She said the 30-year (1991-2020) mean minimum temperature at Piarco for January is 22.1C.
“The 2022 dry season temperature outlook indicates above-normal seasonal mean, maximum and minimum temperatures are likely, but at least three very cold nights are possible when temperatures can fall below 20C between January (and) March.”
She said clear skies and calm winds usually aid in temperatures dropping further, as was the case on Wednesday morning and earlier in the week.
People across the country took to social media to comment on the chill.
Shakeer said while Thursday morning was also relatively chilly, temperatures in some areas did not drop as low as Wednesday, because of some cloud coverage and a light breeze.
“Clouds trap some of the escaping heat energy and the light breeze allows for mixing of warmer air aloft with the cooler air mass below, thus inhibiting some of the cooling process.”
The explanation for cooler night temperatures generally is: “What occurs every night is a process called radiational cooling. At night when there is no incoming solar energy (sunlight), radiational cooling occurs as heat energy in the form of longwave radiation escapes the earth’s surface.”