Photo by Belize Scoop
I went out earlier today to see how things were on Corozal Bay. Very busy it was as people where shopping, banking, paying bills, and offices had employees working. But, as the minutes passed by, the temperature kept rising. And, it was becoming hot.

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Monthly Weather Summary, June 2020

National Meteorological Service of Belize

The month of June marks the official beginning of the Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season. In Belize it is also the first full month of the rainy season which usually starts around mid-May. June is climatologically the wettest month of the year at the airport and also at many of the weather stations across the country. Weather systems that typically produce rain during this month include tropical waves, Tropical Upper Tropospheric Troughs (TUTTs) and very rarely tropical cyclones.

June 2020 started off moist and unstable as the remnant low pressure system from Tropical Storm Amanda moved across Central America to the Bay of Campeche where it was upgraded to Tropical Depression number 3. As a result skies were cloudy on the 1st with a few showers and thunderstorms mainly over northern areas. Showers and thunderstorms increased overnight starting in the south then spread to central and northern areas on the 2nd as Tropical Depression number 3 became Tropical Storm Cristobal around midday. Skies remained mostly cloudy on the 3rd with isolated thunderstorms and rain over northern and along some coastal areas during the daytime but showers and thunderstorms increased over the north later that night. Tropical Storm Cristobal was downgraded to a depression over southern Mexico on the 4th and even though skies were cloudy rainfall was minimal. Showers and thunderstorms increased again that night and affected mostly northern and central areas. Libertad recorded 119.4 mm (4.7 inches) and Towerhill received 75.4 mm (2.97 inches) of rainfall while Belize City recorded 55.8 mm (2.2 inches) from 9am on the 4th up to 9am on the 5th.

By midday on the 5th Tropical Depression Cristobal regained tropical storm strength a few miles southeast of Merida, Mexico. As a result conditions remained relatively moist from the 5th to the 6th as a broad area of low pressure associated with Tropical Storm Cristobal dominated the area. Showers and thunderstorms were generally isolated and occurred mainly inland and along northern coastal areas.

Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana on the 7th evening while mainly fair and warm conditions prevailed over the country through to the 9th with only isolated afternoon thunderstorms over the Maya Mountains. A weak tropical wave crossed over the country during the evening of 10th but did not produce any significant rainfall.

A light and relatively moist easterly to northeasterly airflow prevailed over the area from the 11th to the 12th that supported a few showers and isolated thunderstorms mostly over the north, coast and south. Relatively moist conditions continued to dominate the area on the 13th resulting in a few showers and isolated thunderstorms over the Orange Walk and Toledo districts.

Another tropical wave moved across the country during the afternoon of the 14th and supported the development of a line of showers and thunderstorms just inland from the coast, which moved further inland and persisted through to the evening. The activity continued on the 15th mostly over inland and southern areas in the afternoon and evening then north and along the coast overnight.

A strong tropical wave approached early on the 16th which crossed the country later that day. Conditions became increasingly moist over the area along with an increase in divergence at the upper levels. Skies were cloudy to overcast and showers and thunderstorms affected northern and southern coastal areas on the 16th morning then most areas in the afternoon and mainly southern areas during the night. Moist and unstable conditions persisted over the area on the 17th resulting in thunderstorms, showers and periods of rain over central and offshore areas in the morning, northern and southern areas in the afternoon then most areas overnight. Rainfall records from 9am on the 17th through 9am on the 18th show that Hershey on the Hummingbird Highway recorded the most rainfall with a total of 295.6 mm (11.64 inches) while Savannah received 224.2 mm (8.8 inches), Middlesex village recorded 134.6 mm (5.30 inches) and Belmopan received 123.0 mm (4.84 inches) .As a result on the 18th morning, flooding was reported in several communities across the country but the floods were most damaging along the George Price Highway where a section was washed away that rendered the highway impassable, while a portion of the Southern Highway was submerged. Skies remained cloudy to overcast on the 18th but the activity gradually decreased as showers and thunderstorms affected mostly the north in the afternoon then a few showers and isolated thunderstorms occurred over central and southern areas later that night.

A moderate but relatively dry easterly airflow dominated the country from the 19th to the 20th and supported generally fair weather, except for a few light showers over central inland areas during the 19th afternoon then isolated showers and isolated thunderstorms over coastal areas of the Toledo district during the night of the 20th.

A fairly weak tropical wave crossed the country on the 21st and supported cloudy spells with isolated thunderstorms and showers mainly over northern inland areas during the daytime and over the south during the night. A moderate to gusty easterly airflow prevailed on the 22nd and another weak tropical wave moved across the country later that night with thunderstorms and showers only over the Toledo district. Elsewhere warm and windy conditions prevailed.

Tropical Storm Dolly formed over the North Atlantic, south of Canada around midday on the 23rd. Meanwhile warm and windy conditions along with haze from the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) prevailed across much of the country and showers were generally isolated. Another weak wave traversed the area on the 24th afternoon but had little effect on the persistent hazy and dry conditions.

A tight pressure gradient over the area maintained a moderate to gusty easterly airflow and the Saharan Air Layer continued to produce hazy conditions resulting in reduced visibility over some areas from the 25th to the 26th. Shower activity was minimal until the night of the 26th when yet another tropical wave approached and supported a few showers over southern and central areas. The wave crossed the country after midday on the 27th with only isolated showers mainly over central areas. Interaction between the tropical wave and an upper level trough on the 28th resulted in a few showers and isolated thunderstorms over the south and east of the country in the morning then during the afternoon showers and thunderstorms developed over central and northern areas before increasing and spreading to most areas overnight.

The last two days of the month saw a return to mainly fair conditions with a light to moderate easterly airflow as the Atlantic High Pressure system dominated the area. Isolated showers and thunderstorms occurred over the Stann Creek and Toledo districts on the night of the 29th and over southern Toledo and near Maskall village during the night of the 30th.

In summary, two excessive rainfall events that led to flooding occurred in June 2020. The first was associated with Tropical Depression Cristobal on the 4th that resulted in floods in the northern districts while the second was due to a strong tropical wave that had upper level support from a Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough (TUTT) as it moved across the country on the 16th. The wave produced heavy showers and thunderstorms over most areas from the 16th to the 18th resulting in damaging floods over some areas in the west and south. A total of seven tropical waves crossed the country in June 2020. The graphs and maps below summarize the total rainfall and average maximum and minimum temperature recorded during the month of June 2020. They also give an indication of how these readings compare to the normal for the month across the stations sampled. As can be seen, rainfall was above normal over the north but below normal for central and southern areas except for Central Farm in the Cayo district and Savannah in the Stann Creek district. Meanwhile rainfall was well below normal over the Toledo district. Maximum/daytime temperatures were above normal in the north, near normal over central areas and above normal for most of the south except for Savannah that had near normal high temperatures. Minimum/nighttime temperatures were above normal for most of the stations except for near normal temperatures at Towerhill and cooler than normal temperatures in Punta Gorda.

Monthly Rainfall Summary

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Monthly Maximum Temperatures

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Monthly Minimum Temperatures

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Rainfall Observed: January 2020 (mm)

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Rainfall Observed: January 2020 (% Above/Below Average)

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