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Aug 18, 2022

Strong Tropical Wave Causes Multiple Thunderstorms across Belize

The system that crossed Belize overnight was a strong tropical wave that dumped more rainfall in some parts of the country in a twelve-hour period than it normally does in an entire month. The system has now moved west of Belize, and weather conditions are expected to improve. Chief Meteorologist, Ronald Gordon explained the system that affected us between Tuesday and today.


Ronald Gordon

Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist

“We refer to that type of system as a meso-scale convective system where thunder storms basically redevelop over and over again over the same area, producing torrential rainfall and intense lightening activity. The records from our weather stations indicate that we had upwards of five inches of rainfall over the Belize City-Ladyville area, from the latest observations I’ve seen. I actually saw up to seven inches of rainfall affecting us here at the airport and that’s between midnight and about midday today. That is extremely high. The rainfall average for this station is around one hundred and ninety milliliters for the month of August. So again, similar to a situation we saw last month, where a station in the north recorded almost the total rainfall for a month in a very short period, again we have this situation occurring with this recent tropical wave. It’s very interesting, I would say, that we have been seeing these exceptionally high amount of rainfall occurring in these very short periods of time. Of course that would lead to the type of flooding that you see. Typically, you’d expect rainfall to be more uniform and distributed across the month, but we’re seeing in recent trends that we get these torrential downpours occurring over a very short period of time. It’s definitely not the first one we have seen in August. I have recalled some Augusts from memory, where we had this type of activity before and you have these relentless thunder storms that persist over an area and produce these types of torrential rainfall. It’s not the first time and August is the month of the year, from a climatological perspective, where we have the most thunderstorms and lightning activity over Belize.”


Gordon advised people to stay alert since the hurricane season usually gets more active later in the season.


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