Areas under a short-term drought watch where short-term drought is also possible include southern Belize such as Stann Creek and the extreme northeastern portion of the Toledo district near Savannah. Areas under a long-term drought watch where long-term drought is possible to include the Belize and Cayo districts as well as most of the Stann Creek district. Gordon says that the weather is expected to return to its neutral state by early November.
Ronald Gordon, Climatologist
“We are looking at some parts of the country indeed in the west and so on that may be experiencing long term drought in the future. When we bring up those terms there are looking at two factors. We are looking at past rainfall and projected rainfall. In an area might be receiving below normal rainfall at the moment but we don’t have them under drought, it might be because out forecast for the future is projecting that they will be getting some rainfall in the future. The models are suggesting that the current weak and moderate that we had is gradually dissipating and we are looking to a return that is called a neutral condition that is average temperature in the Pacific.”
There is no short-term drought concern elsewhere over the country.
Four of the six districts are being affected by the drought
There is presently an ongoing drought situation in Belize due to the lack of rainfall. Four of the six districts are being affected by the drought, with Toledo and Stann Creek doing fairly well. The National Met Service predicts that it will continue through to October. On the couch: Jose Alpuche- C.E.O., - Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Victorillano Pascual - Coordinator of Water Management and Climate Change, Ministry of Agriculture
Re: Drought to Spread Across Belize
#538114 09/05/1905:20 AM09/05/1905:20 AM
While nobody seems to be able to definitively pinpoint the source of the New River’s contamination, much less offer a definitive solution, a prolonged drought as a result of the much vilified climate change has been cited as one of the factors. But climate change, in its role as villain, wears many different hats and has also been blamed for a critical contamination of Belize’s waters, beaches, and coast. We’re talking that stinking seaweed called sargassum. This week, Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria, spoke to Love News about the sargassum situation.
Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer, Department of Environment:“It’s a more climate change issue in terms of increased temperature globally, not in Belize or the western hemisphere, it’s global and the more temperature you have, the more rich nutrients that reach the seas that’s what creates all these sargassum blooms, similar to what we are talking about the algae bloom, the eutrophication in the New River similarly at a bigger scale is the bloom of sargassum then reaches on land and how we go about addressing that that is a hell of a task because it is a global scenario. So right now with the “small” amounts coming on mainland Belize for example compared to Mexico that is huge but in Belize even the little amount that we are experiencing is costly, very costly, prohibitive sometimes to address. Imagine what would happen five or ten years from now when the temperatures, god forbid, raises more and you have more blooms and more tons coming on stream and more frequent. Right now we have luls, it depends on the northerlies, or the easterly flow, in the next ten or twenty years if we continue the way we are these sargassum blooms will be daily and instead of you spending $1,000 to clean up your side of the beach on a weekly basis it will be $10,000. But solutions have to be found to address what is happening and at a bigger and global scale we need the climate change agenda to advance faster. We are a member of the sargassum task force, we have been collaborating with them in trying to suggest solutions, do piloting with these booms that try to divert or trap, these are things that we have been working with and trying to work with the task force but it’s through the task force not directly through.”
According to Alegria, the problem will only get worse in coming years, so the country will need to formulate a comprehensive strategy now, based on information that is already available, such as clean-up costs, tides and wind direction.
Concern Still Persists Over Long Term Drought In The Caribbean
The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology said today that while there is less concern over short term drought, there remains much concern over long term dry conditions as the end of the year approaches.
In its latest Caribbean Drought Bulletin, the institute said that the drought situation is of even more concern given that the wet season is also coming to an end.
“This enhances concerns related to water availability moving into the dry season. In particular, underground water sources and large rivers could continue to be depleted, particularly in portions of the eastern Caribbean, French Guiana ad Belize.”
The agency said that long term drought situation -by end of November 2019 - is of immediate concern in southeastern Belize, while noting that long term drought is evolving in Antigua, Barbados, northern and central Belize, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, St Kitts and Trinidad and Tobago.
It said that long term drought might possibly continue in Hispaniola and Martinique and might also develop in northern Puerto Rico, St Martin, St Vincent and the United States Virgin Islands.
“Areas ending up in long term drought may experience significantly reduced water levels in large reservoirs, large rivers and groundwater during the upcoming dry season,” it added.
In a review of the situation in the region for August, the institute said that mixed conditions were seen throughout the islands of the eastern Caribbean.