The climatology of the cooling degree day (CDD) indicator is analyzed in this paper for the Caribbean region. The CDD is an indicator of energy required to reach human comfort levels, and directly related to energy demands. The National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data for surface air temperatures was used as main data source for the Caribbean basin for the period of 1990 to 2005. Climatological and time series analyzes for CDD were performed to observe the spatial and temporal pattern for this tropical region. A climatological bimodal behavior was observed from June to July in a NCEP data position close to the island of Puerto Rico. Although the longer energy demand is present in the early rainfall season of the Caribbean, the cooling degrees remain around and above 6.5°C during the entire climatological year. On the other hand, the cooling degree spatial distribution spread towards the east in the Main Development Region (MDR), from the early to the late rainfall seasons. It is also observed that regional warming is being experienced for the region reflected on a slight increase of the cooling degree days for the period analyzed. This increasing tendency of the cooling degrees may be in phase with global sea surface temperature increasing tendencies recently reported and attributed to global climate changes.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.