Uncertainty Surrounds Hurricane Beryl’s Impact on Belize

Uncertainty Surrounds Hurricane Beryl’s Impact on Belize

With all that said, the question tonight remains whether Hurricane Beryl will hit Belize and if so, where? Unfortunately, at this point, authorities say it is too early to call. This afternoon, the National Emergency and Management Organization (NEMO) and the National Meteorological Service held a press conference to discuss the current situation, the hurricane’s trajectory and the country’s preparedness. At this hour, the category four storm is battering the Windward Islands in the Caribbean and wreaking havoc across several nations. Where it goes next and whether it loses momentum is unclear. Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon began the press conference with a brief overview on Beryl.

Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist: “The projected forecast for this hurricane is for it to move on a west-northwestward track across the southeastern Caribbean Sea for the remainder of today, Tuesday, enter the central Caribbean Sea just south of Jamaica around Wednesday, and then move into the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Thursday. It is currently a category 4 hurricane almost at the strength of a category five with 150 miles per hour. The forecast calls for it to weaken as it enters the central Caribbean Sea because it is forecast to encounter some wind shear which will disrupt its development and result in weakening, and that’s the official forecast. In terms of the projected path, the system currently is moving, as I said, west-northwestward. It will encounter a high pressure ridge at some point that will develop over the Gulf of Mexico forcing a more westward track. Just to make it simple for the public, a ridge is like a mountain. The hurricane cannot move over a mountain, it tries to move around it, so that ridge will be blocking the system from moving farther northward and push it more on a westerly track after it moves near Jamaica. There is still a lot of uncertainty. This is a four to five day prediction that carries a lot of uncertainty. As you can see from the projected cone, there is a hashed area near Belize indicating that there is a high level of uncertainty of where the system will be. However, the projected cone shows it anywhere from southern Belize, let’s say from around the Stann Creek district up to the Northern Yucatan Peninsula. That means the center of the hurricane could be anywhere within that cone at that particular time, which is Friday morning.”

As we stated, authorities are uncertain where Beryl will make landfall, but it may be somewhere between southern Belize and Cancun on Friday. Gordon noted that the Met Office will have more accurate information by Wednesday evening.

Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist: “The forecast is for it to weaken to a Category 1 Hurricane more or less by the time it reaches our area. However, we do know that intensity forecasts can be very problematic and looking at the situation the wind shear is not that strong. So we do caution our residents to be aware and to do not take it lightly to be very prepared for the system. In terms of possible impacts we cannot say precisely at the moment given the level of uncertainty. But certainly if the system moves within the projected path we will likely experience some impact from the system including strong winds and heavy rainfall, which we’ll be able to fine-tune as the week goes on as we get more information. I want to remind the public that the forecast models are updated every six hours and they are done so for a precise reason, there is new information coming in every six hours updating these models. So you will see the track shift from time to time and that’s because of new information. So we need to monitor the situation very carefully at this moment and be prepared if we need to take action.”

Love FM and Love Television will begin its hurricane coverage on Wednesday. 

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