The island nation of Cuba broke its all-time temperature over the past weekend. According to the country's official meteorological agency, on April 11, 2020, the town of Veguitas registered 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) -- the hottest temperature ever recorded for the country.
The city of Jucarito recorded 39.2 °C (102.6 °F), which also broke the country's previous hottest temperature on record. Elier Pila Farinas, a senior meteorologist at the Cuban Meteorological Institute (INSMET), confirmed the records on Monday, April 13.
"New record temperature in Cuba! Veguitas in Granma yesterday reported a maximum of 39.3 °C (102.7 °F)! Jucarito reported 39.2 °C (102.6 °F), both [broke] the record of 39.1 °C (102.2 °F) of June 30, 2019," he said in a post on Twitter.
Other all-time station records were smashed as well from Thursday to Saturday last week, April 9 to 11. According to INSMET office in Camaguey, Cuba's third-largest city, previous records were broken with more than 1 °C (1.8 °F) difference.
Los agramontinos que vivimos en los municipios del interior de la provincia hemos soportado los días más cálidos desde que se registran datos meteorológicos en nuestra provincia. En la tabla se muestran los récords rotos en estos días. pic.twitter.com/ut6VuaQO7i— Centro Meteorológico de Camagüey_Cuba (@INSMET_CMP_CMG) April 12, 2020
Temperatures remained extremely warm across the Caribbean for several days due to a warm, southerly flow. However, there were light winds late last week and over the weekend as well.
In Cuba, sea breezes usually lead to shower and thunderstorm chances, just like in Florida. When there's an absence of wind, cloud cover usually vanishes, resulting in heatwaves and drought.
Furthermore, a strong, high pressure over the Caribbean suppressed air and caused warmer temperatures. Lastly, the extraordinary warmth in Cuba may also be attributed to the fact that more than 90 percent of the country is experiencing drought.
A map by INSMET shows the wide swath of drought across Cuba, wherein the worst of the conditions are in the western and eastern edges.
"The shortage of rain over the last few days has favored the notable rise in temperatures," said INSMET head Miriam Teresita Llanes Monteagudo.
Image credit: INSMET
According to INSMET's weather forecast issued on Friday, April 17, it will be partially cloudy in some locations, mainly in the western region, with isolated showers and thunderstorms.
The day will be hot, however, with maximum temperatures during the afternoon between 32 and 35 °C (89.6 and 95 °F)-- somewhat higher in localities of the interior and the eastern region.
Featured image credit: Olivier Simard/Flickr