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Western and northern Belize experiences drought

Ronald Gordon – Climatologist, National MET Service: “In terms of impacts, we have not had any major report. Our person who liaises with the Agricultural Sector has been making calls and the latest information that we got was that some farmers were having problems with feeding their livestock. Apart from that, we have not had any major reports in terms of impact. I must say that the drought has not been severe, we have had worse drought than this in the past. There is a rainfall deficit and for us it translates to a drought watch for some parts of the country. Actually last month we went up to a drought warning for the western part of the country. The latest projection that you have seen is the warning that we had in the west, that will actually be downscaled to a watch and the north of the country, especially in the Libertad area, is showing no concern at the moment. Tower Hill is still showing some aspects of a drought watch for us at the moment. In terms of rainfall projection for the next three to six months, we have just done some updates along with our counterparts from the Caribbean and in the next three months from June to August we are going to be seeing the rainfall deficit. However, we are a transitioning from the dry to the wet season so what we always tell our stakeholders is that a deficit in the wet season, although it can be of concern, is not a major concern to us because the wet season is normally wet anyway. That is exactly the reason why I mentioned the drought warning for the west. We are going to be downscaling that from a warning to a watch. Even though it is going to be less than normal rainfall we are still going to be having enough rainfall to recharge the major reservoirs.”