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Oct 14, 2011

MET Office says it’s going to be a wet weekend

If you’re making plans for the weekend, you’ll want to keep it indoors because it’s going to be a wet one. Since Thursday there have been heavy rains in central and northern Belize caused by a lingering weather system that has potential to develop into a tropical depression. The flood prone areas in southern Belize are being spared the bulk of the rains this time around, but according to NEMO the rivers are slowly rising. Kendal and Mullins Rivers are each one foot above normal, while North Stann Creek is at normal level but is rising. Meanwhile, in the Cayo District, the Succotz and Baking Pot ferries are closed to vehicular traffic. The river at Arenal Village is four feet above normal level, Calla Creek is up three feet, in Bullet Tree the river is up two and a half feet while the Macal River has risen six inches above normal. And the downpour continues throughout the next few days until the systems starts moving away. Chief Met Officer, Dennis Gonguez told us what to expect in the next few days.

Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist

“There’s a broad area of low pressure over Central America and the North Western Caribbean. This was originally an Eastern Pacific tropical depression that produced some rains over Guatemala. Presently the center is over north central Guatemala. The system will linger in our general vicinity over the weekend producing significant amounts of rainfall around the country.”

Delahnie Bain

Dennis Gonguez

“Are there any expectations for it to develop into something more?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Well, the system moves offshore Belize come tomorrow afternoon or Sunday morning and that increases the possibility that this could evolve into a tropical depression. But at this moment, the models are deferring the scenario of it developing into a tropical depression. The present motion of the system is being blocked by a cold front in the Gulf of Mexico and as that front disappears come Monday morning, we expect the system to start moving northwest and head out of this general area and into the southern Gulf of Mexico and the bay of Campeche.”

Delahnie Bain

“So what parts of Belize will be most affected by the rains that it’s bringing?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Well, last night and this morning we had rains concentrated over the northern and central sections of the country and it seems that that scenario will play out again tomorrow and on Sunday. So we’re looking for significant amounts of rains over the northern and central parts of the country. Some places, like here at the International Airport, received up to six inches of rainfall during the last twenty-four hours. From nine a.m. yesterday to midday today, we received about six inches of rainfall. La Democracia on the Western Highway received about five inches of rainfall. So we had significant amounts of rain around the country last night and this morning. And this system, like I said, is forecast to just meander or linger around the area over the weekend and produce a lot of rainfall, giving us a wet weekend.”

Delahnie Bain

“You said it’s mostly affecting the north and central Belize right? Well, we know that south is most prone to the flooding and so on. Any rains happening down there?”

Dennis Gonguez

“It rained down there but not as much as it has been raining over the northern and central sections of the country.”

Gonguez says that at this time of year, it is common for cold fronts forming over Mexico to cause weather systems to linger in this area of Caribbean and that translates to plenty rain for Belize.

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