BELIZEANS ADVISED TO PREPARE FOR INCREASE RAINS AND FLASH FLOODS
Tropical Storm Matthew deteriorated as it made landfall this afternoon at the Honduras-Nicaragua Border. Although it will be a depression by the time it nears Belize’s coastline, Meteorologist, Catherine Cumberbatch at the Meteorological office tells us that we are not out of the woods just yet.
Catherine Cumberbatch; Forecaster
“Matthew at 3 pm local time has made land fall at north east of the Nicaragua border. At 3 pm the centre of tropical storm Matthew was centred at latitude 14.7 degrees north or that brings it at latitude 83.7 west. That puts it at about forty miles west south west of Gracias Adios at the Nicaragua Honduras border. This is the location of Tropical Storm Matthew at present. That puts Matthew from us something like 360 miles east south east of Belize City and about 335 miles east by south of Punta Gorda Town. That is where Matthew is and it is moving in a west direction. It is also beginning to weaken, it is now only at 45 miles per hour."
It is expected that Matthew will dump eight to 12 inches of rain over most of Belize especially in the southern parts. There are warnings being issued for major flash floods. Cumberbatch explains the systems movement as it makes its way to Belize.
“We expect it to slow down. This is not a good thing because it will continue to produce significant amount of rainfall. Although it is weaker everything is still there so it will continue to produce a lot of rainfall over its westward movement which will be Honduras, Belize and Guatemala area. That can spell flash floods for us so we are not out of the woods yet. Maybe we have been spared from the brunt of the storm and hurricane but we are not out of the woods yet with the after effects of Matthew. Most of its activity will be in the golf water so as it continues on its westward track it will impact us with a lot of rainfall. Even as it weakens to a tropical depression and then to just an area of low pressure that will still continue to produce rainfall for the next couple of days over our country.”
A tropical storm watch is in effect for the coast of Belize. This means that we will be experiencing tropical storm activity within the next 12 to 24 hours.