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Belize City flooded out!

GeneralBelize City flooded out!

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 30, 2023

Belize City residents are currently in recovery mode after a recent downpour caused widespread flooding across neighborhoods. The event, characterized by intense rainfall and strong winds, occurred on Wednesday, leaving the city reeling with the aftermath of significant flooding.

According to Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon, the northern coastal and central parts of Belize, including Belize City, San Pedro, and Caye Caulker, experienced the brunt of the rainfall.

Belize City recorded about four to five inches of rain, while San Pedro saw up to six inches. This heavy rainfall was attributed to a stationary front in addition to unstable atmospheric conditions.

The amount of rainfall in such a short duration was highly unusual. Typically, such high volumes are spread over a longer period, but this event resulted in flooding of yards and streets.

The weather caught many residents by surprise, because it came as we approached the end of the hurricane season. “The front has dissipated now, and we are seeing a drier easterly to southeasterly airflow entering the area. So far for today, conditions have improved significantly compared to yesterday, and we expect that to be the case again tomorrow, Friday, into the weekend,” Gordon told us on Thursday.

However, meteorologists warn of another potential surge in moisture towards the latter part of the weekend.

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, while officially closed on November 30, was marked as above average in terms of named storms, with 21 tropical storms, of which seven became hurricanes and three reached major hurricane status. “From a local perspective, it was not a very active season,” Gordon said.

Belize was fortunate to avoid direct threats from tropical cyclones this season, though the country did experience significant rainfall in early November from a low-pressure system that made landfall in Nicaragua. According to Gordon, it was “perhaps the most significant feature we had affecting us this particular hurricane season.”

Gordon stressed the importance of continued vigilance against weather events. He reminded residents that weather patterns do not adhere strictly to the hurricane season timeline, and that extreme weather events can still occur.

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