The National Meteorological Service provides weather and climate information and products of various timescales such as daily, weekly, monthly. This service has now been extended to providing seasonal climate outlooks of projected rainfall for a three-month period.
This most recent product can be used by key economic sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, water resources management, public utility providers, disaster risk reduction, forestry, health and tourism as a planning tool for the upcoming months. These seasonal outlooks provide potential opportunities for addressing risks at national, local and community levels throughout Belize.
The seasonal forecast is issued in the form of probabilities of projected rainfall being above normal, near normal and below normal.
These rainfall occurrence probabilities add up to 100% and are structured as below.
- Near Normal
- Below normal
The seasonal outlook for rainfall for the August, September and October (ASO) period is projecting a 35% probability of normal rainfall and a 45% probability of below normal across the entire country. In total, this corresponds to an 80% chance of near normal to below normal rainfall countrywide for the ASO period with the higher probability indicating below normal rainfall.
Rainfall data for the month of June show that below average rainfall was observed at all locations across the country. The largest shortage occurred at the Philip Goldson International Airport, which received only 9 % of the normal June rainfall. No location recorded normal or above rainfall in June. Indications are that likewise in July, the rainfall totals have been significantly below normal around the country.
Coupled with the abnormally dry scenario experienced in June and that presently being played out in July, the implications of the ASO projection point to the possibility of further decreases in water availability considering what the forecast verifies in the long run.
Drought prediction indices as generated by the National Meteorological Service are pointing to moderately dry to severely dry conditions with pockets of extremely dry conditions around the country during the August, September and October period.
This climate outlook product is presented as a planning tool that has utility in numerous economic sectors. Further information on the specifics or details of this product can be obtained from the website of the National Meteorological Service or by contacting either the Chief Meteorologist or the Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the National Meteorological Service.