Rains may continue until year ends

Belize’s rainy season typically spans June to November, but unusual rains this month have surpassed even the average November rains. Moreover, conditions triggering the unrelenting rains which have been showering Belize since last week could continue until the year ends, according to local authorities.

Forecaster Frank Tench, Jr., told Amandala today that up to this morning, the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) had recorded 210 millimeters (about 8.5 inches) of rainfall. For today, said Tench, the PGIA had recorded 26.7 mm or over an inch, as of 9 a.m., signaling that rains for December at that station would have surpassed 9.5 inches by the end of today.

Tench said that rainfall for this December is roughly 40% – 50% above normal, although it is not yet a record.

The reason for the prolonged rains is a series of cold fronts which have come down to the Yucatan area, but which remain stationary as they interact with surface troughs from the Caribbean, which bring with them a lot of moisture.

“The fronts that have been coming down have been stalling over the Yucatan Peninsula,” said Tench.

Similar occurrences sparked torrential rains last month.

“As far as this system goes, we expect another day of this type of weather,” said Tench, forecasting an improvement on Wednesday; but the long-range forecast calls for further deterioration in the weather close to the weekend. That apparently won’t be the end of the rainy spells.

According to Tench, the seasonal forecast so far is suggesting that the upper-level environment is likely to remain favorable for these types of situations, where the fronts don’t come through with the strength and swiftness that they usually do, but move slowly over the region.

“That would likely continue for the rest of the month,” said Tench, adding that it may not be until January that we will see real cold fronts coming through.