Overcast Skies Persist as National MET Service Forecasts More Rain
For now, the persistent rains have eased but the overcast skies remain. According to the National MET Service, the rain will continue. Chief MET Officer, Ronald Gordon, noted that while the conditions responsible for the weekend showers have dissipated, there is another system that will bring more showers this week.
Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist: “We were monitoring that broad area of low pressure that eventually crossed Central America over the weekend and affected the country with heavy rainfall as we had expected. The rainfalls from the system started around Friday, previous to that of course we had the impact of the cold front that brought rains on Wednesday and then on Friday we had the system beginning to affect us and with increasing showers and thunderstorms which continued throughout the weekend and even into today Monday. Rainfall totals across the country from our network of automatic weather stations indicate that the heaviest amounts occurred in the Belize and Stann Creek district especially the coastal parts of Belize and Stann Creek district. We saw for example here at the airport we had 173 mm which is approximately about seven inches. At the municipal airstrip in Belize City we recorded 221.6 mm which is roughly about nine inches of rainfall. So it has indeed been very heavy rainfall from this system and in terms of the forecast we’re expecting rains to continue although the system of course the low pressure has already dissipated we have a moist north easterly airflow in its wake that is producing more showers and thunderstorms and expected to continue to do so at least for the rest of today, tonight and Tuesday. We are expecting a decrease on Wednesday and then by Thursday we should be seeing generally fair conditions returning to the country.”
Chief Gordon noted that the Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek Districts took the brunt of the intense rainfall, seeing between seven and nine inches of rain in certain areas. The rains also led to the cancellation of classes countrywide for today and tomorrow. He added that while the models call for a decrease in rain fall compared to the weekend, the decision to reopen schools is ultimately one that the Ministry of Education will need to make. The National Met Service, however, continues to offer advisories to the public and those at sea.
Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist: “So we do expect that we will see more showers and thunderstorms between today, tonight and tomorrow and then things gradually decreasing on Wednesday. There will be showers on Wednesday but not as intense and like I mentioned before by Thursday we should be seeing fair conditions. Well I will defer that to Ministry of Education but basically based on the rainfall projection it is likely that they could maybe return on Wednesday based on rainfall alone but of course we need to monitor the flooding situation which is not under this department’s purview but the hydrology department. We do know that the rains could stop but the flooding is likely to continue even after the rains have stopped due to the waters coming down so that is something that we also need to look at. In terms of advice in general to the residents we do of course have an excessive rainfall warning in effect that we have been issuing and of course on that alert we do advise residents to contact hydrology for the detail on flooding and then we have also been issuing a small craft caution advising mariners to exercise caution out at sea due to gusty winds and rough sea conditions that can be expected in this type of weather.”