May 2024 Declared Hottest Month on Record in Belize, Meteorological Service Confirms

May 2024 Declared Hottest Month on Record in Belize, Meteorological Service Confirms

In other climate related news, the month of May 2024 has been declared the hottest month on record in Belize. The National Meteorological Service says it has finished analyzing the weather data for May and verified the highest average temperatures since the 1960’s. Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon explained that the Met Service collected initial data through automatic weather stations and later verified the data at manual weather stations. Apart from the abnormally high temperatures, the country also saw a record late start to this year’s rainy season. 

Ronald Gordon, Chief MET Officer: “And from the indication of it, May 2024 is going down in the record book as the hottest and driest May for the country of Belize on record from the data that we have going back to at least the 1960s for some stations, others in the 1970s, but certainly it has been a record May for the country. Well actually most days in May were above the 9 percentile. We were under a constant heat wave as such for almost the entire month. We did have a dip I believe around the Sunday, the 19th I believe it was of May, but other than that the entire month of May we were under a heat wave. We knew we had temperatures in Chaa Creek, although that’s not a historical situation as such, we saw temperatures of 108 Fahrenheit at one spell which is very near to the all-time record of 110 recorded in Belmopan back in May 23rd 1976. So certainly it has been a record hot month in terms of the heat. But when I was saying record hot for May we were looking at the average for the entire month. And we’re also looking at the average in terms of the between the daytime and nighttime. So the overall average for the month and it is a record. So certainly that is quite notable. So Central Farm had 107, I believe, around the 18th of May and that was the peak then. But when I said 108, that was farther west in Chaa Creek and that’s a relatively new station. But certainly that recorded one degree higher than Central Farm of 108. And then in rainfall it was basically zeros. So most stations recorded absolutely no rainfall for the entire month. And it may also be a record in terms of the start of the rainy season, because like I said, it started last week which was one week into June. So typically our rainy season start around the middle of May and gradually move north. We didn’t have that until around last week which was one week into June. So basically it has been a record all around.”

Gordon warned that, despite the start of the rainy season, temperatures are still high, peaking at just under a hundred degrees this week.  He cautioned the public to be on the lookout for heat alerts coming from the Met Service.

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