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Oct 23, 1998

Tropical Storm Mitch bears watching

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Forecasters say it’s no cause for concern right now; but the slow moving Tropical Storm Mitch in the western Caribbean should be monitored over the next couple of days. According to head of the National Climate Change Project Carlos Fuller, the potential for Mitch to strengthen into a hurricane remains high.

Carlos Fuller, Director, Climate Change Project

“Mitch is moving very, very slowly towards the north around seven or eight miles per hour. It is being influenced right now by what is known as an upper level trough. That is the wind is blowing in the upper atmosphere from the south and it is pushing it up towards the north. However, this trough is gradually going to move out towards the east and a high pressure system which is going to produce some easterly winds, we believe is going to start to turn Mitch more towards the northwest. So this is the path that has been occurring for the past two or three days, moving westward. It actually did a loop and is now starting to move north. But all the models indicate that as it starts moving north eventually it’s going to start to shift towards the north northwest and eventually northwest and come pretty close to passing through the Yucatan Peninsula. And because it is moving so slowly, it could be moving anywhere from due north to due west. So all interests in the western Caribbean Sea have to monitor this storm very carefully. That includes Jamaica, Cayman, Cuba, Mexico, Belize and Honduras. All of these nations must track Mitch very, very carefully.”

Q: “Tropical Storm Mitch, isn’t it in the same general location right now as did Hurricane Hattie many years ago?”

Carlos Fuller

“Indeed that is one of our concerns. Hattie was a bit closer to near Costa Rica when it formed and it did move directly north and passed north of Belize and eventually made a complete left turn and came back down towards us. And it occurred at the same time of the year, in late October, October thirty-first actually. So indeed both factors are not very good for Belize.”

For the latest information on Tropical Storm Mitch, tune in to Tropical Update, immediately following this newscast.

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