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Last Thursday, Antigua experienced a record-breaking rainfall that has been measured at the VC Bird International Airport. This exceptional weather event has shattered the previously held rainfall record, making February 8th the wettest day ever recorded in February.
According to Dale Destin of the 268Weather site, the island was drenched with a remarkable deluge of 58.9 mm (2.32 in), surpassing the previous February rainfall record set in 1982, which was a more modest 39.0 mm (1.54 in).
This extreme precipitation is considered a rarity with a slim likelihood of less than 0.2 percent (0.177%), occurring once every 565 years on average.
Thursday’s rainfall also exceeded the cumulative rainfall for the entire month of January 2024, further highlighting its extraordinary nature.
To put the magnitude of Thursday’s rainfall in perspective, it surpassed the rainfall of 69 out of the previous 96 full Februarys on record at the airport.
Moreover, Friday’s downpour exceeded that of 393 out of the 1,153 total months on record at the airport.
The unusual weather pattern was attributed to a rare cold front reaching the area, accurately forecasted as early as Monday.
Despite the intensity of the rainfall, the impacts were minimal, and flooding was kept to a minimum as precipitation remained in the light to moderate range for most of the time.
This extraordinary rainfall not only shattered daily records but also propelled February 2024 to the top of the charts as the wettest February on record since 1928.
With the month’s total rainfall for Antigua now standing at 153.7 mm (6.05 in), surpassing the previous record set in 1982, residents are left to ponder the rarity of such weather phenomena and its implications on future climate patterns.