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Sep 18, 2020

Ideal Hurricane Conditions Lead to a Super Active Season!

As Gordon explained just now, they need additional names because of how active the season is. Today, he went on to explain just why we are seeing this heightened level of activity that we last saw some fifteen years ago.


On the Phone: Ronald Gordon, Acting Chief Meteorologist

“At the start of the season, most of the centers that do predict tropical cyclone development were forecasting a very active hurricane season. And the factor that they were looking at which have materialized is that we have very warm above normal sea surface temperature in the Atlantic or the warm ocean waters are basically the fuel that fuels these system for them to develop and intensify. So, with that amount of energy out there you would expect systems developing. Another major factor is low vertical wind shear over the Tropical Atlantic and the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Vertical wind shear is one of the factors that when it is high or we have a lot of wind shear it tends to suppress activity. And we have the opposite of that right now so you don’t have that factor inhibiting development. And that typically correlates with what we call La Nina phenomenon. For example, last year when we had the drought in Belize we were looking at El Nino whereby we had warmer sea surface temperatures in the pacific not the Atlantic and then the storms developed in that area and because of those storms in that area and you have strong upper level winds that blow across us and that is what basically leads to the wind shear. Now we have the opposite factor and we are heading into a weak La Nina and so you have light wind shear and that allows strong thunderstorm activity to develop and intensify and basically with warm ocean waters you have all the ingredients needed for an active tropical cycle season.   We want to remind Belizeans and the public that we are in an active season – even when we are not in an active season we encourage people to be on the alert and basically keep monitoring our area. Fortunately for us, at the moment, we are not seeing anything in our area. However, we are not out of the woods yet. The hurricane season goes until November thirtieth and we can have storms form outside of the season as well. So, we are not out of the woods and so residents should continue to monitoring the situation with us and stay tuned for any updates with NEMO and the Met Service for any potential development in our area. And of course have your plans always ready and ready to be executed.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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