Since the National Meteorological Service (NMS) has been tracking the progress of the strong tropical wave across the Caribbean for the past few days, this evening’s latest outlook represents the first indication of a positive development. The wave has now become a broad area of low pressure center just off the northeast coast on Honduras. The low pressure system has entered a region where conditions are very favourable for development. Sea surface temperatures over the western Caribbean are averaging near 29°C/85°F.There is an upper level ridge situated just ahead of the surface low. Seems this feature will not diverge much from its current location. The latest model run (18Z) from the GFS forecast product suggests a sustained cyclonic rotation to the low pressure system during the coming days. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts the system becoming a tropical depression before the reaching the Yucatan Peninsula. This forecast I tend to agree with. Since reports have been issued on the wave earlier this week, this is the first mention of a probability of 60%.
Time frame for development
As regards the time frame for the low pressure feature to reach Belize, my estimates would suggest the low center will head across the north coast of Honduras Friday morning and produce several showers and thunderstorms during its passage over southern and coastal Belize. Later on Friday the center of the low pressure center will emerge over the waters of the Gulf of Honduras and head northwest to west northwest. During its passage over the waters east of Belize, the chances for further development appear quite good. How much development is a very difficult issue. Using the guidance from the GFS model product, it seems the system will spend the greater part of Friday afternoon through Saturday morning heading northwest for the extreme northern part of Belize as a well formed low (tropical depression/storm?).The low center should reach the coast of the Southern Yucatan Peninsula Saturday afternoon or evening. Whatever level of development the system attains during this time, will probably hold true till landfall.
Rainfall estimates from the GFS and NAM model products suggest most rainfall will occur initially over southern and coastal Belize through Friday. Rainfall estimates on my part range between 35 to 45mm for coastal Belize with 10 to 20mm elsewhere. These amounts will drop somewhat for coastal regions (20-30mm) and inland region (5-15mm) on Saturday. On Sunday the focus shifts to northern western Belize where rainfall estimates range from 30-50mm for inland Belize and 10-20mm for coastal Belize. Onr Sunday rainfall will continue over inland Belize(ranging between 25 -35mm).
National Emergency Management Organization “Preserving Life and Property” Date: Friday, 25 June 2010 Time: 3:00 P.M.
NEMO PRESS RELEASE No. 2
The area of disturbed weather over the northwest Caribbean has become better organized. The possibility of Tropical Cyclone formation in this area over the next 48 hours has increased to 80 percent.
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has put into effect a Tropical Storm watch for the entire coast of Belize as of 3:00 pm today. A Tropical Storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are likely to affect the country within the next 36 hours.
People along the coast and on the cayes are encouraged to evacuate early, once the NEMO declares a Phase.
Mariners and fisher-folk need to make early preparations to seek safe harbour, if the need arises.
Motorists are advised that increased rainfall can cause flash flooding and render roads impassable.
The general public is being advised to:
· Review your emergency plans (family, community, business)
· Ensure you have adequate food, water and medicine
· Make early preparations to seek shelter if necessary. If you need to seek shelter, know where you are going. Make sure to inform relatives and friends of your plans, whereabouts and intended destination.
Public Officers are encouraged to be alert and ready in the event they need to report for duty.
The public is further advised to listen to local radio and television stations for official updates from the NEMO and the National Met Service.
I attended a NEMO EOC meeting this morning. EOC is on alert and everybody seems to know their areas of responsibility. I've been waiting for more definitive information to send to you, but since we've had no updates since mid-day I thought I'd send along what I have now.
The majority of the computer models develop 93L a bit and bring it near (or directly to) Ambergris Caye. Whether the development is mild or strong remains to be seen. Right now the advice is to be aware, have a plan in place and activate that plan if notified to do so.
Conditions are favourable for further development. If you have a boat, think about pulling it onshore tomorrow. If you don't have insurance, you might want to buy some before the day is out. If weather conditions deteriorate, it may become difficult to leave the island by Saturday afternoon. If you were planning on leaving Sunday you may want to depart a day early.
From NEMO: The depression has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Alex as of 5 am. Emergency phone numbers for NEMO in San Pedro are226 3651 or 226 3654. We are meeting again this AM at 5 am and will now man the emergency HQ continuously until the all clear is past. We are at the Town Board conference room. Keep safe,