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Da when rain wahn come?

HighlightsDa when rain wahn come?

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Tues. May 14, 2024

For the past several days, Belizeans have been hoping for rain as they try to endure an intense heatwave in the country—with temperatures reaching the high 90s or even 100s.

The period of escalating heat, which started as early as the final days of April, but extended into, and intensified in the first two weeks of May, is projected to continue for approximately another week, as we enter the Atlantic hurricane season, set to commence on June 1.

“We are in a heatwave … the primary reason is that we are under a ridge of high pressure at the mid-levels of the atmosphere, which is suppressing in a sort of upward motion. So, it’s keeping all the heat trapped near the surface,” said Chief Meteorologist, Ronald Gordon.

He further mentioned, “You are seeing a lot of hazy, smoky conditions, again, because you cannot have the smoke dissipate; it’s not rising anywhere. So, certainly, it has been extreme across the country; that also in combination with some mild Saharan dust has been reducing visibility considerably. So, when you look out, probably … perhaps you’re seeing that you’re not able to see as far as you normally do.”

Typically, this time of the year is when Belize is likely to experience intense heat as, geographically, the country is located in the tropics along with several other Central American and African countries, Asian islands, and parts of Australia. This means that these countries will receive more sunlight than any other country outside of the region, and are generally hotter and wetter as they aren’t affected as much by the solar seasons.

As mentioned above, the heatwave is set to continue for another week, and that was confirmed by Gordon when he spoke to the media earlier this week. He added that following the week of intense heat, there is a small possibility of rain, which will take us into the wet season.

“There is an indication that the mid-level ridge that I mentioned is going to collapse, and therefore you’ll have more like what we call a trough of low pressure, which should enable the conditions to become a bit [more moist] and the likelihood of a gradual transition from the dry to the rainy season. However, we need to monitor and see if that materializes,” he said.

Gordon noted that a comparison between this year’s and last year’s heatwave hasn’t been done yet, but he believes the 2024 heatwave is more severe, as the period of heat was longer.

“It appears that the length or the duration of this particular heatwave has been quite excessive. I’m looking at two weeks now without much of a relief. So, even though you may not have as many heatwaves because you don’t get the breaks, you could have one long heatwave, which is very bad,” he outlined.

Gordon advises the public to hydrate and avoid strenuous outdoor activities, especially during the portion of the day when the heat is at its peak (11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.).

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