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Jun 4, 2012

Stormy weather; what was causing all the rains?

The rainy season is here as you’ve probably noticed from the heavy downpour over the past few days. The showers have caused flooding in the Belize River Valley area as well as closures of the Coastal Road and Kendal Crossing. Late this afternoon, the National Emergency Management Organization informed News Five that the rivers have receded and that the Coastal Road and Kendal have been reopened to traffic. But there’s more rain to come according to Forecaster, Michael Gentle at the Belize Met Service. He explains what has been causing the heavy rains and thunderstorms.

 

Michael Gentle, Forecaster, Belize Met Service

“What we had was a low level feature that we refer to as an easterly wave, which is a shift in the winds from easterly to more east south easterly. At the upper levels we had high pressures or anti cyclone that provide ventilation for development of showers and thunderstorms. The low level feature has moved inland and has weakened while the upper level remains over the area. With the low level feature moving inland, we see a decrease in the low level moisture and this will support a reduction in shower activity, however with the upper level feature remaining in the area, we don’t expect a general improvement but we will see a decrease in the showers. We continue to get some showers basically in the south, during the night time and the morning hours and mostly over inland areas during the afternoon with the variation with the heating in the land areas during the day and the sea during the night time.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“Can you tell us about what areas have been affected in the past few days?”

 

Michael Gentle

Michael Gentle

“Okay, especially last night we noticed that the showers and the thunderstorms developed in the south over parts of Guatemala and Honduras and moved up along the coast. We had a deep southerly flow over our area so it transported the moisture up along the coast. So the showers moved from over the south earlier during the night and earlier today they were mostly over the northern part of the country.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“So how much longer do we expect these rains to continue?”

 

Michael Gentle

“Okay, we will continue to get some showers, as I mentioned generally in the south and along the coast during the night time and early morning and then over inland areas as the day warms up. But with the low level feature moving away, we don’t expect as much rainfall as we’ve been having the last few days. So we do expect a lull in the rainfall especially coming onto tomorrow.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“So by the end of the week we should be having better weather?”

 

Michael Gentle

“Well, by the end of the week we expect the moisture to increase again. So we’ll probably get one or two days break and then the rain is likely to return again. We’re in the rainy season so it’s the time of the year for that.”

 

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