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WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Monday-Monday, Sep. 10-17, 2012

HAPPY 10th SEPTEMBER!

Here is the Weekly Outlook. It will continue unseasonally dry this working week. Very unsual. Not a tropical wave in the Caribbean at the moment. Some thunderstorms noted around T & T and the ABC Islands..

The Caribbbean will continue remarkably quiet this week except in the SW where moisture will concentrate around mid week, but will move inland over Nicaragua/Honduras by Thursday and Friday.

Have a fine week!

RFrutos

An upper level low near northern Yucatan this morning is forecast to drift SE into the NW Caribbean over the next 24-36 hours and gradually dissipate. This feature will continue to support a few showers and some thunderstorms over and offshore Belize through Tuesday. A weak low pressure system will develop over the extreme NW Caribbean and Belize on Wednesday, but the lack of moisture and unfavorable environmental conditions will not support much convective activity with this system. Otherwise, an east to east-northeasterly airflow will prevail across Belize during this working week through the upcoming weekend, associated with a weak pressure pattern over the NW Caribbean.

Convergence of moisture is forecast in the SW Caribbean east of NE Nicaragua and Honduras in association with a surge in the low level easterly jet around and after mid week. However, organization of this disturbance is not expected as it moves over land across northern Nicaragua and Honduras by Thursday and Friday.

No tropical cyclone is expected to form or move into the Caribbean region during the next seven days. September 10th marks the historical peak of the North Atlantic Hurricane season. In the Atlantic we have tropical storm Leslie heading toward Newfoundland, while hurricane Michael is located in the central Atlantic west of the Azores, heading westwards. A tropical disturbance is located midway between the Caribbean and the Cape Verde Islands. This system has a 90 % chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours as it drifts WNW at 15 to 20 mph. The forecast track has this disturbance veering NW away from the Caribbean. So, the Caribbean will remain remarkably quiet over the next seven days. Nevertheless, we must remain vigilant as we move into the latter part of September and the month of October, when the preferential areas for tropical cyclone formation shifts to the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Rainfall rates over Belize will be in the range of 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday in the heavier showers and thunderstorms, especially along the coast and in the South. Daily rainfall rates will decrease on Wednesday through the weekend, with daily accumulations of only 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch in locally isolated showers or isolated thunderstorms, especially in the interior and in the hills. Rainfall will be minimal elsewhere during this period.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Opposites - Part V
The first thing Andrea did when she got to school was put her dolly in her bag. By lunchtime, she would be in the box with the rest of her toys. She was the first inside the open classroom. Her other classmates, including Carla, chose to stay outside and prolong playtime as much as possible. She sat at her desk, staring but not seeing anything, her back gingerly leaning against the hard wood of her chair. Wincing slightly, she leaned forward instead, laying her head on her hands sideways, staring at nowhere. At her desk, her favorite teacher paused from rustling papers, looking at the little girl who far too often sat alone, not reacting, not being a child. New to the village, Miss Ana felt there was so much more to each child here than in the pampered hallways of her previous school in town. She kept an eye on this particular one.


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Conch Survey conducted countrywide
The Fisheries Department is working within the various marine reserves countrywide in conducting their bi-annual national conch survey. The survey, which should be completed next week, is conducted in compliance with Appendix Two of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and is intended to make stock assessment of the Queen Conch scientifically known as strombus gigas. The two marine reserves on Ambergris Caye, Hol Chan and Bacalar Chico have been working in various areas inside and outside of the reef to inventory all queen conchs regardless of their size. Hol Chan Marine Reserve Biologist Kirah Forman explained that because the flesh of the queen conch is one of the biggest fishery products exported from Belize, it is important for the country to provide critical information to CITES to show that the conch population is still sustainable. Because the queen conch is listed by CITES as endangered, Forman said that it is essential that Belize reports to CITES that Belize is monitoring the conch abundance and sustainability.

Misc Belizean Sources

Artisan Cheese, Wine, and Jam
You can find everything at Cayo's Saturday market. And now, there is really good cheese and premium homemade wines. There's also homemade jams, jellies and hot sauces. When you buy cheeses and soaps from the Caves Branch tent, all the proceeds go to the Belize National Youth Chess Federation.

Blogs

Happy St. George's Caye Day!
Although we knew that September 10th is a holiday in Belize, St. George's Caye Day, we hadn't actually planned on attending the parade. I knew there was going to be a parade, because, well, Belizeans have parades for just about every occasion! They need absolutely no excuse to gather and celebrate, and I remembered finding out that there was a September 10th parade last year after we'd already missed it. But we had no idea what time it started. Turns out it started right as we were finishing up our shopping at Greenhouse. We were literally trapped, as the police and fire truck were coming right along Middle Street as I exited the store with my purchases. No problem -- the parade was colorful, festive, and fun, though ear-splittingly loud (sirens, drums, and pounding music). It was a much shorter, smaller parade than the mama of them all, the Independence Day parade on September 21, which we blogged about last year. Thank goodness we were trapped on the shady side of Middle Street as it was another very hot and sunny day. The poor kids marching, playing instruments, and dancing with their school groups were dripping and swabbing their faces with hand towels, and I felt for them in their polyester uniforms. Hot! But I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Belize Battle of St George’s Caye Celebrates Freedom
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is calling on lovers of freedom the world over to join Belizeans in celebrating the little known but immensely important Battle of St George’s Caye – a colourful 18th century skirmish that continues to reverberate in regional politics today. Recognised as the defining moment in the creation of the present day Belize, a popular Caribbean vacation spot, the 1778 battle saw a group of mostly British settlers and African slaves defeat a Spanish invasion at St George’s Caye, a small island off the coast of present day Belize City. Chaa Creek owner and GM Lucy Fleming compared the victory with those that led to American independence in the United States. “It’s to Belize’s history what the battles of Concord and Lexington are to America’s; when a small group of what could be called rag tag but highly motivated patriots stood up to a larger professional army and won.

Celebrating 10th September in full color!!
The pride of all Belizean’s overflows during the month of September and nowhere better can it be seen than during the Carnival to celebrate the 10th September. This Saturday, was no exception. The city comes alive as its inhabitants prepare for this annual spectacle. and more parade ..and more parade ..and more parade .. Like many countries around the world, Belize is totally broke – and with 90% of Belizeans under the poverty line, you would have expected the budget for what some may consider, non-necessities (like costumes for Carnival) being low or non existant. But this Saturday showed us all Belize’s heart, her pride and her glory in full color on the streets of Belize as float after float slowly paraded down the streets. Belizeans expressed their love for their country as they danced to celebrate their independence and 10th September – and they did so in style!

International Sources

U.S. Rum Subsidies Hammer Caribbean Producers
Rum, the sugar-based liquor that has fueled the development of the Caribbean for centuries, has become the focus of an increasingly bitter dispute with the U.S. Small producers in countries such as Antigua, Guyana and Jamaica complain they are being punched by unfair trade and marketing advantages for global beverage corporations operating in U.S. territories, and say U.S. rum subsidies threaten to drive some beloved top-shelf Caribbean labels out of business, or force them to sell out. "The amounts that are being doled out now are staggering," said Frank Ward, chairman of the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers' Association. "We were able to live with the level of U.S. subsidies as they once were. But the massive increases, we believe, have skewed the market."

Offshore investing in Belize, does it make sense for you?
n the past, to open an offshore bank account you would typically either visit the bank in person or use a liaison in the United States. For example, an offshore bank located in Belize or Switzerland works with a law firm in New York. To open an account, you visit the law firm and a lawyer sets up the account on your behalf for a fee. Today, you also have the option of opening an offshore bank account online or over the phone yourself, eliminating the expense of a liaison. However, because of their complexity and depending on what you’re attempting to do, lawyers can still be necessary to set up and manage an account. In some cases, investing offshore includes creating a company and incorporating in the host country. In an article recently published by The New York Times, Adam Davidson chronicled how he could have incorporated and started an offshore bank account in 10 minutes for less than $3,000. The full article is worth reading, but here is a breakdown of what Davidson did. First, he located an offshore bank in Belize that was willing to set up an account through email and over the phone. Then he contacted the bank and got a list of fees, including: $900 for basic incorporation in Belize $85 for a corporation seal $650 to open a bank account in a second country, Singapore $690 to assign an account manager Total startup cost – $2,415

Caye Caulker Belize: A Slice of Paradise
Caye Caulker is much sleepier than it's big, much more commercialized sister, Ambergris Caye. Caulker is loved by its authentic, beachy feel. The streets of Caulker are hard-packed sand, and most everybody moves around on foot, bicycles, and golf carts. Since the weather was great, and we had only packed clothes for two days, we opted not to take the golf cart taxi. The hotel was located a mostly pleasant 10-15 minute walk from the dock. At last, we arrived at Colinda Cabanas, a completely remodeled property on the quieter side of Caulker. We were assigned the cabana right behind the main office (good WiFi signal!) The rooms were super-clean and lovely.

How an Unexpected Delay Led to a Wonderful Trip to San Ignacio, Belize
Ignacio proper is not very big, and while a bit confusing at first because of road construction, I found my bearings quickly. We asked one of the construction workers for Bullet Tree Falls Road, which leads to the part of town where Parrot's Nest is located, somewhere out in... Bullet Tree Falls. The road was easy to find and led almost straight out from the town's center. It was a fairly pleasant drive, if somewhat long a 3-4 miles, out of San Ignacio's town center. I mean, it was a "jungle" I was heading to, so I should've known it wasn't going to be located next to the town's Kwik-e Mart. After fumbling for directions, I found the dirt road that led deep into the jungle... After dodging a jaguar and a pack of wild howler monkeys (not really), we arrived at the lodge. Marcus, the friendly owner greeted us. Well, the friendly dogs did first, to be honest. Marcus showed us around the property and the various tree-houses. According to Marcus, this lodge had the first ones available to the public in Belize. We couldn't stay in the one below, since it was designed for two people. Or one of me. The Macal River runs right behind the lodge. After doing a snack run to the supermarket in Bullet Tree, we returned as quickly as we could, peeling off layers of clothing en route as we jumped into the river to cool off.



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 03:48 PM)