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Nov 30, 2018

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Spared Belize

Francisca Wellington

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has ended and there is a sigh of relief in Belize. The season was forecasted to be normal to slightly above normal in the Atlantic Basin. It turned out to be above normal, more specifically in the North Atlantic region. Of the eight hurricanes which formed, two developed into hurricane status. According to forecaster Francisca Wellington, the major factors that supported the above-normal activity were the presence of heightened sea surface temperatures.


Francisca Wellington, Forecaster, Nat’l Met Service

“We had above a normal in the north Atlantic area and we had normal over our area. The reason for the above normal over the north Atlantic was above normal sea surface temperatures while in our area we had vertical sharing. But we had fifteen named storms. From that we had eight hurricanes and from that we had two major storms. We had Florence and Michael. Florence had winds up to a hundred and forty miles per hour, category three or more. Michael had hundred and fifty miles per hour. Luckily for us, we didn’t get any. Just a short explanation of what vertical sharing is because that is what saved us. This is a rough sketch. This is the storm, let’s say it is forming. This is the surface, moving up to the upper levels. In the lower parts of the atmosphere this is what is tearing the hurricane towards us. But in the upper levels the winds are flowing in the opposite directions and that is what we say ‘it shares the storm. So that saved us from getting any hurricanes or tropical storm this year.”


Hipolito Novelo

“So it dismantled the storm?”


Francisca Wellington

“In Creole we say it tear it up. It tears off the top and it cannot function if it does not have that top. Simple as that. Let’s hope next year we have similar situations.”

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