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Persistent Rains Flood the City Streets

The late Richard Merrill often said on our programs: “whether we like the weather, the weather is here to stay”. And for the last couple of days, rains have fallen over the country. While it was just rain, many questioned if there was a hurricane we were unaware of. Thankfully it was not, but the Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon warns that we should be vigilant because there are about six weeks left in the Atlantic season.

Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist: “Up to this point the season has been very active in terms of the number of named storms. There’s been a total of twenty named storms so far. An average season has fourteen named storms so we’re about six above average in that aspect. However in terms of hurricanes the average is for seven hurricanes and so far we have had exactly seven hurricanes forming. Of those seven hurricanes the average is for there to be three major hurricanes and currently we have had four major hurricanes across the Atlantic Basin. These systems for the most part have not tracked our way and fortunately also for most of our Caribbean neighbors they have not been affected significantly by any major hurricane this season. We do know that our neighbors in the north, the United States, have been affected they have a large coastal area so we expect them to have more landfall in systems and they have been impacted but again in our area particularly for Belize we have been spared so far and there have been some systems that came relatively near but so far we have not had to go into any watch or warning for this particular season. In terms of the forecast or the prediction for the upcoming months or weeks remaining in the season currently let’s start with what’s happening now. Conditions are very quite across the Tropical Atlantic Basin. Currently we do not expect tropical cyclone formation at least through the next two to five days. However that is not to say that something cannot develop beyond that time. As we all know the hurricane season officially closes on November 30th and you can even have systems forming outside of the normal season so there’s still the possibility for there to be more systems developing this particular season and there’s also the chance of some of them coming our way so the important thing to remember is to remain on the alert and still be prepared until we can officially say the season is closed.”

Streets in Belize City were under water today after the tumultuous showers overnight and well into the daytime. Concerns grew about how the showers would impact Belize’s waterways. Principal Hydrologist, Tennielle (te-neel) Hendy told Love News that for now, the nation’s rivers remain generally steady.

Tennielle Hendy, Principal Hydrologist: “There’s pretty much not that big of a concern relating to flooding. Currently in region seven which is the north – Orange Walk, Corozal – the rivers are below normal and steady so we don’t expect any major change within the river system. It’s the same for the central region which is the Macal, Mopan River , the Belize River all of them are below normal and steady especially with Crooked Tree the lagoon levels remain below the causeway and they’re steady. For region eleven which is the Sibun River is below normal and steady as well however in the south of the country as you know with the eastern slopes of the Maya mountains we often see these very rapid changes in the water levels, they are above normal or near normal and falling. Now in the deep south, we’re talking about Swasey, Bladen, Deep River, Rio Grand, you know deep south Moho, Temash, Sarstoon they are above normal and steady below normal and it has like a minimal rise you know given the rainfall events. And on the Sarstoon River it’s near normal and steady. So for most of them we don’t foresee any major flooding activities to occur on our riverine systems however because of the volume of rainfall that we are seeing and we know with the different precipitation patterns, changes, you know shorter periods more intense rain our low lying areas as we like to call them but you know they’re urban areas like the cities and the towns they would experience some localized flooding. If I’m sticking to my hydrology terms it’s termed urban flooding. So those areas you know if it normally floods with an hour of intense rainfall then you should be on the lookout.”

In a few moments, we will have the weather update from the National Meteorological Service.