As the cold fronts start visiting our little country during October and November although they are refreshing after a long harsh summer, we must remember that they have played a pivotal role in the visit of hurricanes during the month of October, and yes, even November. Let’s revisit the 1942 hurricane.

The 1942 Belize hurricane was the only known hurricane to strike Belize in the month of November. This storm was detected in the vicinity of Turks and Caicos Islands on November 5. Initially a storm, it strengthened slowly while moving westward and then south-southwestward across the Bahamas. On November 6th it made landfall in Cayo Romano, Camagüey Province. While crossing Cuba, the system weakened to a tropical storm early on November 7, shortly before emerging into the Caribbean Sea. The storm re-strengthened into a hurricane later that day and headed southwestward.

Late on November 8, this system curved westward and intensified into a Category 2 hurricane. Six hours later, it peaked with winds of 110 mph (175 km/h). Early on November 9, the storm struck Caye Caulker and the northern Belize District. About 90% of structures in San Pedro Town were destroyed, while Newtown was completely obliterated, causing its residents to relocate and establish the village of Hopkins. Tides along the coast split Caye Caulker into two separate islands and swept away "everything in its path". Overall, nine deaths were reported and damage totaled approximately $4 million USD.

Date: November 5, 1942 – November 11, 1942
Damage: $4 million (1942 USD)
Lowest pressure: 991 mbar (hPa); 29.26 inHg
Areas affected: Bahamas, Belize, Cuba

Albert Paul Avila