Hurricane season is here and the question is do you need to worry about a strong tropical wave that's developing in the Central Caribbean? Probably not right now, but According to the Belize Metrological Service, there is a 40 percent chance this system could become a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. In that case it would be called Alex. And even though it poses no present threat to Belize, the system is being monitored closely.
Catherine Cumberbatch, Meteorologist
"We have a very active tropical wave; its axis is just over Dominica and Haiti's border and extended southward. If you look at the visible image right now you see the very strong thunder storm activity associated with this wave. The axis is somewhere along here and behind the axis is where you have most of the heat-convected activity associated with this wave. The wave is moving in a west northwest direction like 10 miles per hour."
"What are the chances of this becoming a tropical cyclone?"
"The chances now are very good because the environmental condition is favorable for further development. You have very warm sea surface temperatures, the upper level conditions and all these things that are feasible for a system to develop are right now in place for this system. So there is a good chance of 40 or more percent of this system becoming a tropical depression in the next day or two."
"And weather wise, how would that affect us in Belize? I know it's still a bit far from us."
"That's right it's still far, but I said it's still tracking in a west northwest direction but you know with the science of meteorology it's not an exact science and these things sometimes have erratic behavior and environmental conditions can change abruptly and you would not want to be off guard and say ok this thing will continue on a west direction when you look its heads in west direction which would be in our area. So, as we look at the models then its showing us that even if this system doesn't come directly into the western Caribbean to Belize the proximity of this system just tracking in a west northwest direction could produce rainfall over our area as soon as Friday. By Friday you could see a change in our weather condition."
That interview was done this morning and this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said it had lost some punch and only had a 20 percent chance of developing over the next two days, which is down from 50 percent this morning. Regardless, forecasters maintain that conditions are expected to become more favorable for the system to strengthen over the next several days, as it moves northwest at 10 mph.
It is expected that heavy rainfall and gusty winds will affect portions of Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic over the next day or so.