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Oct 29, 2001

Tropical depression 15 forms off Nicaragua

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Dark clouds and cool breezes threatened rain all day today and according to the experts, there’s plenty more where that came from. But tonight Belizeans are keeping an eye on what is now Tropical Depression fifteen. The system might currently have a poorly defined centre, but the showers and rains associated with it continues to inundate much of the western Caribbean. The latest from the Belize Weather Service indicate that the now stationary system is expected to start drifting slowing to the north-north west over the Nicaraguan coast and then enter the Gulf of Honduras. The bad news is that the warm waters in the Gulf could give the system enough room to strengthen into something more. Earlier today, News Five’s Jacqueline Woods spoke to chief meteorologist Carlos Fuller.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

For the past two days Belize has been pummelled by incessant rains. The heavier showers have remained along the coast and are expected to maintain that trend for the next couple of days. The wet and cool weather is as result of a cold front that passed late Friday night and Saturday.

Carlos Fuller, Chief Meteorologist

“At the airport for example, we had three inches of rainfall on Saturday night and this kind of rainfall continues to occur mainly along the coast and over the sea. So we believe that coastal areas are the areas that will continue to get the rainfall and it should continue for the next two to three days. If it does move north out here, then it gets warm air from all angles and will intensify very rapidly.”

The weather bureau has also been monitoring a stationary low-pressure system located off the Nicaraguan coast. The system is predicted to become a tropical depression meaning even more rains could follow.

Carlos Fuller

“If it does form into a tropical depression it could linger there for another day or two and then start moving towards us. If it comes directly over us, even more rain. If it passes to the North of us, however, it could mean that our weather will improve dramatically as this thing develops.”

Fuller says the weather service does not want to alarm the general public but remind everyone that the hurricane season does not end until November thirtieth. Everyone should continue to monitor any system that may pose a threat to the country.

Fuller says due to present weather conditions, they have become concerned about the people down south who were recently affected by Hurricane Iris and who do not have adequate shelters.

Carlos Fuller

“This is something that we need to urgently address. Can we get these people into some place dry and warm because these are the two factors that if you have any sort of illness would aggravate it, so this should be our major concern right now.

At the moment, the other problem could be for example if the rains continue along the coastline. We could see the Deep River, the Golden Stream area go underwater again, which also hampers our relief efforts because if those two bridges go underwater, it means we would have to revert back to air supplying stuff in or by sea, so that’s another factor we have to look into.”

Jacqueline Woods

“In the meantime you are advised not to put away your rain gear or sweater just yet and continue to listen to the latest weather reports. Reporting for News 5, I’m Jacqueline Woods.”

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