Trinidad experienced a record-breaking cold night when the minimum temperature cooled to 18.3OC at Piarco during the pre-dawn hours of January 30, 2023.
The climate phenomenon was confirmed in an official statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS).
“This was due to colder air from the north encroaching onto Trinidad and Tobago, where the winds were mostly calm, with pre-existing very dry conditions and almost cloud-free skies for most of the night,” the Met Service statement explained. “This is the lowest temperature recorded at Piarco for January during the last decade, since 2012.”
According to the Met Service, the lowest minimum temperature on record at Piarco is 16.1OC, which occurred on the nights of January 21 and 30, 1964, followed by 16.4OC on the night of January 28, 1976.
“Although there was a slow start to the cool season in Trinidad and Tobago, the first half of January had cool temperatures in the mid to lower 20s, eventually dropping to low 20s during the second half of January and culminating during this last week with morning temperatures below 20OC,” the release noted.
“There is a high probability that cool nights will continue into the first week of February and possibly drop lower than 18.3OC,” the Met Service predicts.
It is advising individuals who are susceptible to low temperatures and who experience respiratory ailments “to be proactive at this time and wear warm and/or extra clothing, especially during this coming week.”
In its 2023 Dry Season Rainfall and Temperature Outlook, the Met Service had indicated:
“Few nights during January and February are likely to be relatively cold with minimum temperatures falling below 20.0OC.”
It explained that generally, the coldest night in any given year in Trinidad and Tobago depends on individual weather systems present at the particular time. However, this is always based on a seasonal cycle where on average for much of Trinidad and Tobago, the coldest nights occur during December to February, with January tending to be on average, cooler than the other months.
“On occasions, the month of March has also produced sub-20 minimum temperatures,” the Met Service observed.