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Met Service keeping eye on system that may impact Belize when it reaches the northwest Caribbean Sea next week

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Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2022. 9:38 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The National Meteorological Service this afternoon provided a brief update on a potential tropical system currently active in the southeastern Caribbean Sea.

The six p.m. Tropical Weather Outlook from the National Hurricane Center, Miami, states: “Showers and thunderstorms remain disorganized in association with a low-pressure system located over the southeastern Caribbean Sea about 150 miles east-northeast of Curacao. The upper-level wind environment over the low is expected to become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression is expected to form during the next day or two while moving west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph across the central Caribbean Sea.” It rates the system at a 90 percent chance of becoming at least a tropical depression in the next 48 hours, and about the same in the next five days.

Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon told reporters earlier this afternoon, “In terms of the track, it is moving to the west-northwest, and eventually move a bit more to the west; and then the forecast becomes quite divergent about three or four days after it enters the northwest Caribbean Sea. Some of the models take the system toward the northern Yucatan Peninsula – north of Belize by the way – while others take it even further away from the country, toward the western tip of Cuba.”

According to Gordon, at present, the system is not properly organized to track the low pressure, but forecasters expect that it will become organized to do so, and so Belizeans should keep track with official information from the Met Service and advisories from the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). Once the system becomes a depression and as it comes closer, forecast models will have a better idea of where it will go and whether, and how, it will impact Belize.

On a general footing, Chief Gordon noted that we are past the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season on September 10, and so systems like this have a better shot at threatening the country: “September and October are the two months where we do have more tropical cyclone activity heading in our direction. Historically speaking, most of the tropical storms and hurricanes that have affected Belize or made landfall on the country have occurred in these two months.” He added that while this system is tracking in the general direction it takes at this time of year, it is too early to say whether this one will have an impact.

As for the weekend forecast, we can expect some showers developing starting later tonight along the coast into Friday morning, and heavier activity on Friday night, following a pattern of activity during the night-time and clearer weather in the morning. The activity over the country is being caused by the Pacific monsoon trough causing instability over the area and the earliest this system may impact Belize, if any, is by Tuesday next week.

 

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