Ambergris Caye: Conditions this morning by Elbert just before or after this post!
Present Condition: Heavy overcast this morning, with periods of rain. Improving weather conditions are expected during the next couple of days.
Advisories: *BECOL reported rising water levels are expected downstream of the Chilillo, Vaca and Mollejon dams near San Ignacio, Santa Elena and surrounding communities. -a flow warning is in effect for the Central Belize River area and the Upper Sibun River and a flood watch for watersheds along the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains, Lower Sibun and Manateee River area.*
Sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. Showers or thunderstorms will be isolated.
Winds: E-SE, 10-20 kts Sea State: Moderate Waves: 4-6 ft
Sea Surface Temperature (°f): 86
Latest observations show a few sargassum mats drifting into the area. These are likely to have moderate impacts on local beaches in the next few days.
For Saturday and Saturday night is for mainly fair weather with only isolated showers or thunderstorms developing.
Tropical Weather Outlook:
Tropical cyclone formation is not expected in the North Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico within the next 48 hours.
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The Caribbean Sea
High pressure prevails N of the area, over the SW N Atlantic
waters. The pressure gradient between this area of high pressure
and climatological low pressure over Colombia is supporting strong
to near gale force winds over the south central Caribbean. Gentle
to moderate winds prevail over the western Caribbean. Moderate to
fresh winds are noted over the remainder of the Caribbean waters.
Fresh to strong trades over the south- central Caribbean will
expand in coverage this weekend as high pressure builds over the
western Atlantic. Winds will pulse to near gale force near the
coast of Colombia each night through Tue night.
Heavy cloud over most of Belize, two ITCZ swellups, one over most of southern Belize and another over northern Cayo, both will be causing large amounts of rain. They are developing right now, so likely to be causing rain over the next few hours and spreading out a bit.
Looks as if today will be another very cloudy day, with a lot of rain for many parts of Belize, just the odd glimpse of a little sun in the north.
Temperatures in Belmopan : ( Coast usually cooler, hills even cooler ) Last night min. 24°C 75°F Yesterday max. 29°C 84°F Yesterday Rain 146 mm ( 5.8") This morning Humidity 95% @ 82°F
Present Condition: Very cloudy throughout the country. A decrease in showery activity is expected today. 24hr Forecast: Cloudy at times with showers and thunderstorms being isolated.
BECOL REPORTED RISING WATER LEVELS DOWNSTREAM FROM THE CHALILLO, VACA AND MOLLEJON DAMS, NEAR SAN IGNACIO, SANTA ELLENA AND SUROUNDING COMMUNITIES. ** A FLOOD WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE CENTRAL BELIZE RIVER AREA AND THE UPPER SIBUN RIVER; AND A FLOOD WATCH FOR WATERSHEDS ALONG THE EASTERN SLOPES OF THE MAYA MOUNTAINS, LOWER SIBUN AND MANATEE RIVER AREA.
Without Belize's three dams flooding could have been a lot worse says BECOL CEO
Aside from causing the rise of water levels downstream near San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Becol’s flood alert also spoke of the watersheds on the northern and eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains. According to Becol’s CEO without the dams the flooding could have been a lot worse.
Re: Belize Weather Forecast: June 19, 2020
#543064 06/20/2004:07 AM06/20/2004:07 AM
Can A French Drain Save Beaver Dam?
When we left you last night, the Cayo District was an island, cut off from Central Belize after the approach to the Beaver Dam Bridge was washed out, and cut off form the south due to multiple flooding events on the Hummingbird.
Well, much to the relief of dozens of commuters and busloads of westbound travelers, the Western Highway was reopened at about 10:00 last night.
This afternoon we caught up with Ministry of Works engineer Lennox Bradley and Zone Engineer Irving Thimbrel for a recap of what they're calling an extreme event that crippled one of Belize's major roadways.
This was the scene today as rush hour traffic moved across the one-lane makeshift crossing leading to the Beaver Dam Bridge. It's an uneasy balance, rock and rushing waters, and it's being maintained by constant vigilance with the hope that it will hold for as long as it's needed. This afternoon we made the crossing to travel to Belmopan where the Ministry of Works chief engineer told us how we got here:
Cops Controlling Commuters, Swimmers And Paparazzi And while Bradley and Thimbrel may be the heroes of the hour, they are singing the praises of the police without whom they could never have worked so quickly.
Yesterday at the scene, we heard from Western Regional commander Linden Flowers who spent the day on the road putting limits on commuters, swimmers and paparazzi.
"The police role is to preserve law and order and preservation of property that's what we're doing out here this morning is to ensure that no citizen is harmed in this situation that arose where the road collapsed. Our patrols were here very early this morning because we had the experience of the night rain so Roaring Creek police responded."
Roadways Turned Into Riverways That Police presence was needed throughout the flood zones where frustration was high and traffic was extremely slow.
And in our conversation with the Ministry's zone engineer, we got an overview of yesterday's desperate situation across the George Price, Hummingbird, and Coastal Highways.
Irving Thimbrel, Senior Executive Engineer, Central Zone Engineer, MOW:
"Spanish Lookout is because of the swelling of the river. That bridge was built as a bridge that can function even though water go over it. It's not something that we want to encourage, but it was design that way and I think it was done in collaboration with the Mennonite community, so I think it was a project that brought together the Mennonite community and the ministry of works. So from time to time that bridge would flood, but we have 2 bridges, up and down stream that will allow people to still access the Spanish Lookout area. We have the Pino Cawich bridge in Roaring Creek and we have the bridge at Bullet Tree Falls, so when we had that 100 year flood some years ago, people were still able to access Spanish Lookout..."
A River Runs Through It - Every 20 Years Now, as you heard, the engineers don't know if this is a one in 25 year flood, or a one in 100 year flood - or something in-between.
Well, how about, one in 18 years? Our archive shows that the last time the bridge washed away was on June 21, 2002 - and, almost exactly eighteen years later, the approach washed away on Thursday 18th June, 2020.
After that epic washout, a completely new, 200 foot bridge was installed in September, 2003. It was designed and built here in Belize at a cost of 2.4 million dollars, and, at the time they said, it was designed to last a century. The quote from the then engineer was that it was "designed to be above the highest recorded flood level..."
And the bridge does remain intact, and the eastern approach is what was undermined in Thursday's floods.
BDF Boat Unit Saves Stranded On Sibun
And the floodwaters didn't only undermine the approach to the bridge, they also caused server flooding in nearby communities, extending from Frank's Eddy to Belmopan.
Franks Eddy is where the BDF's Special Boat Unit was deployed today on a search and rescue mission. They had to rescue tow civilians who were stranded across the flooded Sibun River.
Across turbid waters with strong currents, the rescue went seamlessly and the SBU personnel brought the stranded men safe to shore.
Re: Belize Weather Forecast: June 19, 2020
#543065 06/20/2004:11 AM06/20/2004:11 AM
The National Hydrological Service reports that many riverways are still rising and a flood warning remains in effect.
Flood levels on the Rio Hondo at Blue Creek, Santa Cruz, San Antonio, San Roman, and Douglas are rising. The New River at Tower Hill and Caledonia is above normal and rising.
On the Macal River, reservoir levels remain above the spillway at the Chalillo, Mollejon, and Vaca facilities. At San Ignacio, water levels are above the low-level bridge. The Mopan River at Benque Viejo is at the bank-full stage but falling. On the Belize River, levels at Banana Bank and Double Run area above normal and rising. The Crooked Tree Lagoon is below the causeway and rising.
The Sibun River near Freetown Sibun is at flood stage and continues to rise. Levels are rising on the Southern Lagoon, near Gales Point Manatee. The Swasey and Bladen Branch of the Monkey River is at flood stage. Levels are rising on the Rio Grande at San Pedro Colombia and Big Falls. The Moho River at Jordan is above normal and rising.
The weekend flood warning is in effect for all parts of the country.
“Looking forward, we are seeing a slight decrease of moisture going into the weekend.On Saturday we are looking at isolated showers with a few more at times and then again late on Sunday going into Monday another tropical wave which is in the eastern Caribbean at the moment will cross the country and produce another surge in rainfall.”
Ronald Gordon at the National Meteorological Service
View over the twin towns Friday June 19, 2020. Photo by Daren Lamb. Mr. Lamb got a nice shot of Cayo with the Macal a little higher than normal.