Drought Monitoring - National Meteorological Service of Belize
Tropical Weather Outlook
  • At 9:00am Tropical Storm Harvey was centered near latitude 13.1N and longitude 61.3W or about 50 miles SSW of St. Lucia. Harvey was moving to the West at 21mph with Maximum sustained winds of 40mph. An area of low pressure located about 750 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands has a high chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next couple of days as it moves west-northwestward at about 20mph. Elsewhere, in the North Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane Tips
  •  Fill sinks, bathtub and large containers with water as an extra supply for washing and flushing.
  •  During the hurricane season, fisher folks are strongly advised to stay informed via radio, listen to the weather bulletin before venturing out to sea. Move your boat to safe harbor early.
  •  Prepare your car in case of evacuation. Fill your tank and check your tires.
  •  Upon alert, farmers should harvest crops which can be stored, consumed and sold.
  August 2017

Although we are experiencing a moderate mid-summer drought period which we expect to last through to the end of August, we expect rainfall in the months of September and October to be high enough above average and therefore  we see no short-term drought concern for the entire country. See the map below.

This 12 month SPI-based drought outlook uses data through to June 2017, 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 drought concern for the entire country. 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.

Table SPI classification (CIMH)
SPI ValueCategorySPI ValueImpact

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.

Disclaimer

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: Tue, Aug 15, 2017 | 10:59 AM