Wilma Creeping Towards Belize's Coast
It's still only a tropical storm but tonight Wilma is packing a punch with winds of 50 miles per hour and creeping in the Atlantic Ocean towards the Yucatan Peninsula. At 3 this afternoon the storm was 565 miles southeast of Belize City or 593 miles east of Punta Gorda. Tropical storm watches are in effect from Honduras to Nicaragua and for the Cayman Islands. Belize's National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) held a operational meeting this afternoon in Belmopan where they decided not to declare a tropical storm watch. Still, computer models predict that Belize has a 10 to 15% chance of getting hit. That is why forecaster Frank Tench says we need to keep careful watch on the Atlantic.
Frank Tench, Forecaster
"The storm has been bedeviling quite a bit of the forecasts from yesterday. The current location of the storm means that people in Belize still have to be concerned about what this storm is doing and what it is likely to do over the next 24 hours. It seems like every position changes the forecast a little bit and so it's more like a day to day situation with Tropical Storm Wilma."
Is Belize in danger?
"I would say for Belize we still have to be very concerned about what this storm is doing because of the fact that its behavior has been erratic and it has not showed any direction which it would like to take and its still very much in an area where we in Belize have to be concerned about the progress and behavior of this storm."
Your advice to Belizeans tonight?
"At this time I would advise all Belizeans to stay tune to their radio and television and monitor the reports issued out of our weather service on the progress of Tropical Storm Wilma."
One of the reasons why Wilma is so unpredictable is because she is almost stationary, moving at a mere 3 miles per hour or less. And while NEMO decided not to declare any warnings, tomorrow morning Cabinet will meet at 9 am and Ministers will be briefed on the latest movements. With still 6 weeks to go in this hurricane season Wilma is the last storm name. After this, storms will be named from the Greek alphabet.