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#414105 - 08/18/11 01:33 PM Tropical Storm Harvey
Marty Online   happy
There is a tropical wave over the west central Caribbean this evening - and it is one that bears watching because it is south of Jamaica, or southeast of Belize in open waters.

It is not a storm at this time, but this evening, forecasters are saying that it has a 60% chance of becoming a tropical storm in the next 48 hours.

We spoke to Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez about what level of awareness Belizeans should exercise as we continue to monitor this disturbance:

Dennis Gonguez - Chief Meterological Officer, Belize Met Services
"At this moment, there is a fairly active tropical wave located some 930 miles east of Belize. And although we're seeing some circulation at about 7,000 - 10,000 feet, the circulation has not translated down to the surface as yet. However, as the system heads more westward toward our area, conditions become more conducive for development. So we should see that 30% probability for development as time goes by. Within the next 24 to 36 hours, quite possibly, we could be seeing a tropical depression to the south of Jamaica."

Monica Bodden
"What is the worst-case scenario?"

Dennis Gonguez
Well, the system is moving pretty fast at about 15 - 20 miles per hour. If it continues at that pace, then the development process will be a bit slower. So the worst-case scenario, at this time as it looks, would be a tropical depression, or a weak tropical storm. In any event, whether the system develops or not, we can expect some rains over the weekend - some significant amount of rain. Pay attention to the the system, and the Met Service in its regular broadcast, will be giving updates as it moves toward us. So, it's not a reason to be worried at this time, but be alert and aware that something is out there, and there could potential for it to develop."

The 6:00 pm report from the National Hurricane Center says that, quote


And while that is good news, the report adds that


The report concludes that, quote:


We'll keep watching - and you should too starting with tonight's weather report - which is coming up later on in the news.

Channel 7

#414106 - 08/18/11 01:36 PM Re: 93L Tropical Weather System: Ominous for Belize? [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

The first tropical storm threatening to affect Belize for 2011has surfaced in the western Caribbean. At this point the tropical wave, which some models have crossing over Belize, will be named Harvey when it garners tropical storm force strength. It is currently churning in the Caribbean along a westerly direction and is expected to cross over Belize by Friday afternoon. Today Love News spoke with Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez and Chairperson of the National Emergency Management Organization, Noreen Fairweather, to get a detailed update of the storm’s movement and preparedness efforts.

Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist
“We could see some as it nears our country. The likelihood is that we could see a tropical depression within 24 hours or a weak tropical storm approaching our country by the weekend. Again there is some uncertainty to that until we receive data back from the hurricane hunters. The present track forecast, there is a large variation the track forecast; some models put it as far north as Cancun and some as far south as central Nicaragua so there is a big spread in the forecast track. In any event Belize sits somewhere between Cancun and northern Nicaragua so we need to pay attention to this system as it tracts towards the west.”

Noreen Fairweather, National Coordinator, NEMO
“We will activate if the system becomes a potential threat to Belize so as it nears us we will look at not so much time and space, if it is moving at a certain speed, we will look and see how it develops and in what form it will reach Belize and as it nears us then we put our various levels of alert into place. Hopefully it’s not a major system when it nears our shores, but if it is whatever form it reaches us in then we will have that level of alert to the people out there for them to be aware. The main thing is for them to listen to the advisories. Once we know that there is the need to have a shelter open that will not be determined just before the storm hits, on the advice that we get from the met office they will determine whether or not we need to have shelters open so those arrangements will be in place. Hopefully people heed our warnings in terms of entering the shelters; the shelters are there it has been published if we need to use them. Those arrangements are in place where we have our various responsibilities in terms of the committees and their personnel, they secure access to the building well ahead of time and have the shelters open well ahead of time, and have the shelters open when the need arises. We have an evacuation plan where people will go to shelter if it is internally, within their various communities or externally where they go will go for safe shelter, that is there.”

Fairweather says that if the storm does become an imminent threat, transportation will be provided free of cost in the areas that need to be evacuated.



Met Department says Remain Vigilant

The Belize Meteorological Department has just sent out a press release with an update for Invest 93-L (tropical wave disturbance) currently in the eastern Caribbean. On its projected track, Invest 93-L will be near northern Belize or southern Yucatan by Saturday morning, August 20, 2011. Regardless if it develops into a tropical storm or not, Invest 93-L will bring an end to the August dry spell or maga season or "caniculas" and could produce rainfall and runoff conducive to flashfloods and inundations. Remain Vigilant!

Ramon Frutos, Chief Meteorologist of Belize, comments that model tracks for Invest 93-L (presently in the eastern Caribbean near 14N 67W) project the disturbance to move on a general westerly direction through the central and western Caribbean. Environmental conditions in the eastern and central Caribbean are not expected to be conducive for rapid development, but will become more favorable as the disturbance moves west of 80W on Thursday and Friday.

Once Invest 93-L reaches the western Caribbean later Thursday into Friday, the chances of development will increase as it encounters a more favorable environment; in fact, the latest European model guidance forecasts 93L to become a tropical cyclone by Thursday evening over the western Caribbean. The GFS model does not favor strengthening to a TC in the western Caribbean. Please keep vigilant of this storm through daily updates from the Belize Met Service.

Ambergris Today

#414133 - 08/18/11 04:56 PM Re: 93L Tropical Weather System: Ominous for Belize? [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Navy Track

Heavy rains from 93L will begin spreading over Northern Honduras and Northeast Nicaragua tonight. The forward motion of 93L will slow to 5 - 10 mph by Friday, so the storm could be a major rain event for Northern Honduras, with rain amounts of 4 - 8 inches likely by the time the storm reaches Belize on Saturday.

Heavy rains will spread to Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Friday night or Saturday morning. The latest SHIPS model forecast shows wind shear remaining in the low range and the atmosphere steadily moistening over the next two days, which should allow 93L to reach tropical storm strength. All of the models agree that the ridge of high pressure steering 93L to the west will remain strong, forcing the storm into a landfall Friday in Northeast Honduras, or Saturday near the Belize/Mexico border.

It is possible that 93L will have time to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane before then, though landfall as a tropical storm would be more likely, given the dry air that 93L needs to overcome, and the possibility that the storm will pass too close to the northern coast of Honduras.
Regardless, heavy rain will be a major threat from 93L. NHC gave 93L an 80% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday morning in their 8am outlook.

Jeff Masters

CLICK for more Tropical Weather Information

#414150 - 08/18/11 08:18 PM Re: TD8 Tropical Weather System [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Tropical Update 10/11
18th August 2011 9:00 a.m.

Active Tropical Wave entering western Caribbean has potential for development

Although a surface circulation has not been defined as yet the well defined tropical wave entering the NW Caribbean has the potential to develop into a depression later today. Low level circulation near 8,000 to 10,000 ft has been evident since yesterday. Estimate of a center of this low level circulation is at Latitude 15 N, Longitude 79 W or about 630 miles east of the country. Motion of this circulation is generally easterly at 15 mile per hour.

Track projections are almost unanimously clustered through Belize. With no steering current other than the basic easterly flow across the western Caribbean the system would track in a general westerly direction with a slight northward component.

Although present probability for formation of a cyclone is at 80% the system is entering an area somewhat conducive for further development and as such expect these probability to rise today. Wind speed estimates at landfall likely to be in the range of a tropical depression or minimal tropical storm Saturday morning if system continues at present motion.

Presently need to start to make preparations as if a depression exists.

The exact location or area of concentration of rainfall at this time is still uncertain is indeterminate at this time since development of the system is rather uncertain.

Edited by Marty (08/19/11 03:52 AM)
Edit Reason: 93L renamed TD8

#414177 - 08/19/11 04:35 AM Re: TD8 Tropical Weather System [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
Discussion and 48-hour outlook

at 1100 PM EDT...0300 UTC...the center of Tropical Depression Eight was located near latitude 15.4 north...longitude 82.1 west. The depression is moving toward the west near 12 mph...19 km/h...and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On this track...the center of the depression should move near or over the north coast of Honduras by Friday morning...and approach southern Belize on Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph...55 km/h...with higher gusts. The depression could strengthen into a tropical storm on Friday.

Estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb...29.71 inches.

#414184 - 08/19/11 01:35 PM Re: TD8 Tropical Weather System [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
Discussion and 48-hour outlook

at 800 am EDT...1200 UTC...the center of Tropical Depression Eight was estimated near latitude 15.6 north...longitude 83.7 west. The depression is moving toward the west near 12 mph...19 km/h...and this general motion is expected to continue through early Sunday. On this track...the center of the depression is expected to move near or over the northern coast of Honduras today and Saturday and move inland over Belize and Guatemala by Saturday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph...55 km/h...with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is forecast...but only a small increase would bring the depression to tropical storm status over the next day or two. An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft is currently en Route to investigate the depression.

Estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb...29.71 inches.

Current track from Navy

#414190 - 08/19/11 02:39 PM Re: TD8 Tropical Weather System [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Stormy weather; Met Service gauges tropical wave

Dark clouds loom over the battlefield on which the ownership of Telemedia will be decided. But the legal issue is not the only reason why the sky is expected to be dark throughout the weekend. A weather system that developed in the Eastern Caribbean has been slowly moving west. The Belize MET Service has been tracking that tropical wave, which is expected to make landfall on Saturday. Will it have any effect other than dampen your weekend plans? News Five spoke to the Chief Met Officer as he completed his three p.m. report.

Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorological Officer

“There is an active tropical formation some five hundred and fifty miles east of Belize and presently it’s showing some circulation; however, the circulation has not reached down to the surface. The circulation is about ten or eight thousand feet above the surface. There is some circulation—a good signature to the system, however like I said the circulation has not reached the surface as yet and therefore it has not been categorized as a tropical depression. The system is heading towards the west at about ten, fifteen miles per hour. The present forecast tracks carry it just north of Honduras into southern Belize come midday Saturday. On that track, the system would not strengthen significantly because of interaction with the Honduran land mass. As a result, how I see it, it looks like worst case scenario is a weak tropical storm or a tropical depression on Saturday.”

Jose Sanchez

“Should we be looking forward to a lot of rains only in the south or the size of it will carry across the other portions of the country?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Well it is a small compact system at this time—it’s not even—the rainfall would not even extend over the entire country. We’re not certain of the track so we can’t tell exactly which part of the country the rainfall will be concentrated. But presently the tracks indicated that it is the southern parts of the country.”

Jose Sanchez

Dennis Gonguez

Though we are concern, there is no reason to panic?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Yes, we just need to be aware that something is out there and be prepared for when the word comes that there is a depression heading our way or a tropical storm heading our way and be prepared to take preventative actions so that to prevent bodily harm.”

Jose Sanchez

“What’s your advice for those mariners who intend to be out this weekend?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Well they have to pay attention to the bulletins that’s issued by the national meteorological service and eventually issued by NEMO probably tomorrow or come Saturday morning. So they need to pay attention to those bulletins and be aware that something is out there.”

Jose Sanchez

“So for those people intending to go to the cayes by boat over the weekend, Saturday would be a bad day?”

Dennis Gonguez

“That wouldn’t be a good idea. With a system heading our way, even if it doesn’t develop into a tropical depression or a tropical storm, with an active tropical wave of this magnitude heading our way; the seas would be rough. And you have to consider the rainfall also.”

Jose Sanchez

“When it comes to tracking, how good is our doppler?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Well the radar really assists us a great deal in tracking these systems. It has a maximum range of two hundred and fifty miles so we can see the systems whenever it comes within range. That’s what we use to pinpoint the centre of these systems as they head our way.”

Jose Sanchez

“In terms of communication with the national hurricane center, how does that really work for your office?”

Dennis Gonguez

“Well we have a direct line. We have a number that is not shared with the general public where we can speak to the forecaster on duty and we have a rap session and discuss the events unfolding.”

Jose Sanchez

“Will it be safe to say that we provide information to the hurricane center that they use?”

Dennis Gonguez

“We do because they uses, in the case of hurricane Richard, they used our radar data to help in the preparation of the bulletins that were issued back to us. We have been watching this system from it entered the eastern Caribbean and it looked even better as it entered the eastern Caribbean—better than it looked at this present time. We thought maybe it would have been a depression a long time ago however, conditions this side are a little more conducive to development and like I said the forecast track might just hinder it from developing into a full fledged hurricane.”

No advisories will be issued until the system becomes a tropical depression or tropical storm. However, the Met Office advises the public to keep informed as the situation may change.

Channel 5

#414202 - 08/19/11 04:42 PM Re: TD8 Tropical Weather System [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
Tropical Depression Eight formed last night near the coast of Honduras, and is headed westwards towards a landfall in Belize on Saturday. TD 8 is a small storm, so will impact a relatively small area of northern Honduras, northern Guatemala, all of Belize, and southern portions of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. TD 8 has just enough room between its center and the coast of Honduras to intensify into a moderate strength tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds before landfall. It is very unlikely TD8 has the time or room to intensify into a hurricane; NHC gave the storm just a 7% chance of making it to hurricane strength in their 11am EDT wind probability forecast. Should TD8 make it to tropical storm strength, it would be called Harvey.

Figure 1. Morning satellite image of TD 8.

Jeff Masters

#414204 - 08/19/11 04:53 PM Re: TD8 Tropical Weather System [Re: Marty]
Ernie B Offline
Marty, good job keeping everyone posted. Thanks
Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.

#414215 - 08/19/11 07:04 PM Re: TD8 Tropical Weather System [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Here is an update... The center was relocated farther North and the trajectory takes the TD into central Bze coast south of Belize city by 6pm Saturday...Remember this scenario could change in the next 6 to 12 hours...Winds at land fall 60 mph... Be prepared!!!

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