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May 31, 2018

With Hot and Dry Forecast, Watch Out for Drought

On Wednesday you heard the National Met Service say that the climate outlook for the next few months will see below normal temperatures and below normal rainfall. In putting together the forecast, the Met Service also looks at the probability of drought in the country – which we have experienced in the past. In this latest outlook, the report on the meteorological drought forecast shows that the country is not experiencing any drought at the moment and there is only a drought watch for parts of southern Belize. Meteorologist Shanea [Shay-na] Young tells us what the met is doing to better predict droughts.

 

Shanea Young

Shanea Young, Meteorologist, National Met Service

“Currently there is no drought concern for the country because the previous dry season, technically it was supposed to be our dry season but in the months of January and February, above normal rainfall were observed. So, in the six months that already passed, we didn’t have any drought occurrence. So, in the monitoring we use the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and we also do drought forecasting using the same SPI for the next six months and twelve months.  In the next six months, for most of the country there isn’t any drought concern but in the southern coastal and central coastal regions there is likely to be a drought watch. There are different measures you can do in terms of a drought watch when it comes to preparedness. But in the long term, in the twelve months up to November 2018, on a country perspective e there shouldn’t be any drought concern.  In Belize, we normally address a drought situation on a crisis management kind of thing like there is a drought, and then we offer relief efforts. But what we are trying to do is to move from a crisis management approach to a drought risk management approach which would still address issues when it comes to impact and relief but also look at preparedness; how we can be better prepared for future drought event and what are the measures we can take in order to achieve that.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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