Meteorologist expects extended dry season

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Updated: September 8, 2015

We spoke with meteorologist Frank Tench who attributed the extended dry period to El Niño climate phase.  He explained that this phenomena is not only affecting Belize but neighboring countries as well.

Frank Tench – Meteorologist

It’s largely due to one effect called the El Nino phenomenon which has been with us since the middle of last year. Generally when we are in an El Nino episode we tend to have less rainfall than otherwise and since the El Nino has been in effect since last year and it has continued and increased its level at this very moment, one very big reason we have been having this extended dry period.

Arturo Cantun – Love News

“For those that don’t understand what El Nino is what are we talking about?

Frank Tench – Meteorologist

“El Nino refers to the alternate warming and cooling of the waters of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. During an El Nino phase the upper levels of the waters of the eastern pacific become warmer than normal and when it’s like that, it’s all referred to as El Nino or Fase Calida as they say in Spanish and on the other hand when the waters of the eastern and central Pacific become cooler than normal you have what is called La Nina, Fase Frilla and there is also a third phase where its neither El Nino or La Nina it’s called Neutral where the variations are somewhere in between El Nino and La Nina. So when you’re in a La Nina phase the effect on Belize’ climate tends to promote more increase in rainfall but since we are in an El Nino, and this is being referred to as a very strong El Nino in fact its stronger than the El Nino phase that we had in 1997-1998 which is often regarded as the strongest El Nino, this El Nino Phase is even stronger.

Arturo Cantun – Love News

“Normally during the course of the year when should the country expect rainfall starting to come?

Frank Tench – Meteorologist

“Our rainy season normally runs from about mid-May through the months of June, July until October that’s a general description of the length of our rainy season.”

Arturo Cantun – Love News

But so far we have not been seeing that, based on the information you’ve been getting?

Frank Tench – Meteorologist

“So far looking at rain fall reports for the month of May, June and July most stations have been recording a shortfall in rainfall and it’s been particularly acute in the north of the country especially our northern districts and it continues at this moment.”

Meteorologist Tench explained that based on climate modules the dry season may extended until last October.