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Jun 10, 2011

Met Office explains 50 mile per hour freak storm

Rhaburn’s home was not the only one damaged. A section of a roof on a home in the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City was also blown off. According to the Met Service, the intense winds were clocked at fifty miles an hour. While the forecast had called for a change of weather primarily in the north, we got more than was expected. Forecaster Frank Tench explains.

Frank Tench, Forecaster

“What we had last night was a case of a severe storm and it had a line squall which produced particularly strong winds before the heavy rains which impacted portions of the northern Belize district including Belize City late last night and early this morning. The thunder storms originated across in the Yucatan part of southern Mexico then moved across the border just before midnight and produced some heavy rains in the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts before approaching the Belize District just before midnight last night.

Andrea Polanco

“How would you categorize the winds that we experienced?”

Frank Tench

Frank Tench

“The winds measured here at the airport were in the vicinity of forty to fifty knots; that’s roughly between forty-five to fifty miles per hour. This wasn’t a tropical storm but if you were to compare the strength of the winds to a tropical storm, we were experiencing tropical storm force winds last night.”

Andrea Polanco

“What area was it that felt maybe the brunt of the squall line last night?”

Frank Tench, Forecaster

“Well from the reports we received so far, it appears to be portions of the northern Belize district and the Orange Walk district felt the brunt of the severe weather associated with this squall line but we still have to gather more reports before we can confirm that.”

Andrea Polanco

“The weather forecast called for isolated showers, developments in the north. What wasn’t expected was the intensity that we experienced last night here in the city.”

Frank Tench, Forecaster

“In terms of what we expected, the forecast was indicating the possibility for isolated showers and thunder storms over northern part of the country. Where we weren’t so accurate was indicating the intensity—how strong the winds were going to be, how severe the weather and rains associated with these thunder storms were going to be. And this always a challenge for forecaster—not only the Belize Met Service, but weather services worldwide—forecasting the intensity of weather systems is always the biggest challenge.”

Andrea Polanco

“A line squall; can this be expected due to the severe heat that we’ve had in the past couple months?”

Frank Tench, Forecaster

“The heat was a contributing factor in the development of the thunderstorms late yesterday evening. But in addition to that we had and we still have a surface draft over the north-west Caribbean and extending across western Cuba into the Bahamas. That feature provided the trigger for the development of the thunderstorms last night. In addition to that upper level conditions were quite favorable for the thunderstorms to develop over southern Mexico and the wind flow at mid levels served to move the storms from southern Mexico into our area.”

Andrea Polanco

“Is it possible then that we can expect to see something similar happen in the next few months?”

Frank Tench, Forecaster

“Well, we are in the hurricane season and severe weather is a common feature during this time of year. So I would say you’d have to be on guard for the likelihood of what are called meso-scaled features because these features are much smaller than the synoptic features say like a tropical wave or a tropical storm or a hurricane. But during the hurricane season these features can commonly occur.”

Predictions are that this year’s hurricane season will be active, with around thirteen named storms.

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2 Responses for “Met Office explains 50 mile per hour freak storm”

  1. tired of mediocrity says:

    when will these guys get it right, why we have a million dollar radar they are expert after the event. then they love to tell us don’t listen to weather channel and hurricane center, but this crowd never gets it right any way.

  2. LARGE AND SEXY says:

    these people from met service should be working 24/7 during hurricane season, i am pretty sure they fell asleep.

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