The focus for short-term drought continues to be the extreme southern coastal Stann Creek and northern coastal Toledo districts. A drought watch remains in effect for those areas. Due to limited reliable information from the northern parts of the country, the drought situation in that area could not be properly assessed at this time. See the map below.
The 12 month SPI-based drought outlook uses data through to November 2018, with potential impacts on large surface water reserves and groundwater. In general negative impacts are expected if the SPI is less than or equal to -1.3 (very dry or worse ref: CDPMN). The current 12-month SPI-based drought outlook for the country shows that there is no long-term drought concern for most of the country except for parts of the Cayo District where a drought watch is in effect. As is the case with the short-term drought, likewise the long-term drought situation in the north could not be assessed at this time, due to lack of sufficient and reliable rainfall data in that area. See the map below.
Forecast Drought Condition for Belize is done using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)
The Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI), developed by T.B. Mckee, N.J. Doesken and J. Kleist (McKee et al. 1993) of Colorado State University is an index that, if used carefully, can provide early warning of an extended drought period and aid in assessing drought severity. It can also provide similar information at the other end of the spectrum- extremely high precipitation. SPI is basically a representation of rainfall in units of standard deviation. Positive values indicate greater than median rainfall; negative values indicate less than median rainfall. Belize is now using this tool for early drought warning.
|SPI Value||Category||SPI Value||Impact|
A three-month SPI analysis reflects short to medium term moisture and can give an indication of available moisture conditions at the beginning of the growing season. A six-month SPI analysis reflects medium term trends in rainfall and is effective in showing rainfall distribution over distinct seasons as well as being associated with anomalous stream flows and reservoir levels, which takes longer to manifest itself than does agricultural drought. A twelve-month SPI can indicate the potential periods of shortfall in groundwater amounts.
The information contained herein is provided with the understanding that The National Meteorological Service of Belize makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of this statement. The information may be used freely by the public with appropriate acknowledgement of its source, but shall not be modified in content and then presented as original material.
If you have inquiries or comments please contact the Climate Section at the National Meteorological Service.
Forecaster: Gordon, Ronald
Last Updated: Mon, Jan 07, 2019 | 02:25 PM