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Mar 29, 2004

Unseasonably rainy weather hits Belize

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March is supposed to be breezy and blustery, perfect for sailing and flying kites. It is also typically dry. But from the soaking Belize got last night and this morning, you might think we were heading into the rainy season a couple months early. News 5 asked our friends at the Met Office about this strangely wet March.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Some people were fortunate to have an umbrella when the rain started, but as it continued to fall and fall, it did not take long before many of our city streets were underwater. According to forecaster Frank Tench, the heavy downpour is as a result of two main features in our area.

Frank Tench, Forecaster

“We had a persistent and rather moist east to north-easterly flow, which has been tracking across the eastern Gulf of Mexico in the northwest Caribbean. In addition to that, we had the intrusion of some instability over the past twenty-four hours which enhanced the rainfall activity over portions of the country.”

The rain affected mostly coastal areas and the northern part of the country including the Belize, Orange Walk, and Corozal districts. Because March and April are considered dry season, the wet weather caught many off guard.

Frank Tench

“The outbreak of this rain over the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours has probably drawn attention to the fact that generally March is a dry month. I have looked at some of the rainfall totals for the month of March for many of our stations and so far four stations have reported rainfall totals above their normals.”

It’s too early to say whether the rains will continue right through the Easter holiday, but the Belize Weather Bureau says we should see a gradual improvement over the next two days.

Frank Tench

“The trend that we’re seeing right now with several stations reporting figures above normal and the fact that March and April are considered dry months, there is a possibility that the month of April and the early part, which is the Easter season, could very well turn out to be a bit unusual.”

This morning the highest rainfall was recorded in the extreme north of the country with Consejo Shores in the Corozal District receiving one point eight-nine inches of rain. Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

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