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Nov 30, 2009

Hurricane season 2009 comes to an end

Story PictureIt’s the end of November and that also means the close of the Hurricane season. Fortunately, the six month period went by without much activity even though it had an early start. In fact, it had the fewest named storms in twelve years. Only one of the systems, Tropical Storm Ida, came within notable proximity to Belize. Acting Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez, summed up the season.

Dennis Gonguez, Ag. Chief Meteorologist
“This year was an unusually quiet hurricane season. We had nine tropical cyclones of which three became hurricanes and of those three, two of them became intense hurricanes; category three, four or five.”

Delahnie Bain
“What would have been a normal season?”

Dennis Gonguez
“A normal season would have seen ten systems—ten named systems, six becoming hurricanes and two of those six becoming hurricanes and two of those six becoming intense hurricanes.”

Delahnie Bain
“And of the systems that formed, how many of them had any effect on Belize; whether it’s just rain or…”

Dennis Gonguez
“Well, the closest scare we had was the last system Ida. Although it passed just to the east of us, it was still some two hundred and seventy miles away from us so that was the closest we came to any system affecting us directly. What was basically responsible for it was the El Niño event; that’s the unusual warming of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever we have that event occurring you find that the Atlantic hurricane season is a bit quiet.”

Delahnie Bain
“The El Niño event, how long does that last. Does this mean that we will have this quiet season again?”

Dennis Gonguez
“Unfortunately, the El Niño event usually last a year to a year and a half and computer modules at this time are predicting that the event should come to an end around the March, April and May period of 2010. So next year’s hurricane season, at least that contributing element to this quiet hurricane season will be removed next year.”

According to Gonguez, it has been years since Belize last had a season as slow as this year.

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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